Thursday, January 03, 2013

Space for New Joy

A year ago at this time, I was reflecting that 2011 was probably the worst year of my life. Little did I know that 2012 was going to be even more difficult. When I was writing last year's complaint, I had no idea that my mother would die in a few days and I would be catapulted into a year of griefwalking, coupled with anxiety and panic.

It's a good thing we don't know what's coming or we wouldn't have the fortitude to withstand it. At least I wouldn't. If I had been told a year ago that the 2012 was going to be much more challenging on every level than 2011, I would have curled up in the fetal position and refused to move.

But today, in these first bright days of 2013, I realize I have gained an important lesson.  I don't want to look back.  I don't want to go over 2012 and remember all the dark and difficult days.  I don't want to relive the fear, the panic, the grief, the sorrow, the anguish, the struggles.  I just want them to be part of the past, and not carry them with me into the future.

I don't know what this year will bring...thankfully...but I hope and pray that after two years of sorrow mounted on sorrow, these words of the great Sufi mystic Rumi will ring true and soon "new joy can find space" in my life.
 Sorrow prepares you for joy. It violently sweeps everything out of your house, so that new joy can find space to enter. It shakes the yellow leaves from the bough of your heart, so that fresh, green leaves can grow in their place. It pulls up the rotten roots, so that new roots hidden beneath have room to grow. Whatever sorrow shakes from your heart, far better things will take their place.

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