Sometimes the reality of our lives is painful. Sometimes there’s not a lot we can do to fix it or make it go away. Sometimes standing up, facing, and being with that painful reality is the only option. And this is gutsy; it takes courage, it takes ferocity, it is HARD.
When life is a struggle and the things that get me are up in my face, when I can only sit with and behold what is the most difficult, I often support myself by looking to a teacher—a wise owl as I might call him or her. One of my go-to guys for this is Shunryu Suzuki Roshi.
Below are some of his words that will hopefully encourage you to more deeply accept whatever is going on, if you are indeed feeling burdened, buried, or strangled by your stuff.
These short teachings have certainly helped me:
“If you have nothing to cope with, your life feels empty.”
“You will find that your problems are valuable treasures that are indispensable for you.”
“Before you accept the problems that you have, you cannot accept yourself as you are.”
“You have plenty of problems, just enough. This is a mysterious thing, the mystery of life. We have just enough problems, not too many and not too few.”
“You are receiving just what you need.”
“Just accept things as it is.”
“We should be very grateful to have a limited body like yours or mine. If you had a limitless life, it would be a great problem for you.”
“The only way to enjoy our life is to enjoy the limitation that is given to us.”
Do any of these quotes resonate for you? Which one?
Here’s my take: To be clear about and accept our struggles fully, that’s really it. Then we can be free.
Thank you Suzuki Roshi.
In clear and sweet acceptance,