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“It’s not happiness that makes us grateful but gratefulness that makes us happy.” – Br. David Steindl Rast

Your Life Is Not The Problem

There’s something Russell Delman said when I was at a retreat with him in Seattle a few weeks ago that keeps coming back to me me, and I’m inspired to share it with you.

First I’ll share a poem of Rumi’s and then play with the poem a bit to say it differently (kinda like Russell did.) :) That guy inspires me so much.

First, over to Rumi:

You suppose you are the trouble,
But you really are the cure.

You suppose that you are the lock on the door,
But you really are the key that opens it.

It’s too bad that you want to be someone else.

You don’t see your own face, your own beauty.

Yet, no face is more beautiful than yours.

And then riffing on that…..

You suppose your life is the problem,
But really, it is the cure.

You suppose that your life is the lock on the door,
But really, your life exactly as it is – is the key that opens it.

It’s too bad you want your life to be different.

You don’t see the beauty in your exact circumstances.

Yet no life is more worthy or more beautiful than yours.

Hahhhh…..

I just had a huge exhale in reading those words.

What if it’s true?

Or what if, actually, I can never really know if it’s true? If some other situation might be better somehow…..

What I can notice, for certain, is the impact my ideas have on my experience.

For example, I can totally relate to both of the following statements and know them intimately.

Something is wrong with me and with my life and it (or I) need to be different to be ok…

-versus-

…somehow, exactly this situation I’m in is the perfect situation for me, providing just what I need. My life just as it is is my doorway.

I notice how profoundly differently either of those attitudes can color a day…..or a life.

Years ago I was deeply touched by a zinger of a line from author Cheri Huber.

She wrote: “Self-hatred uses self-improvement as self-maintenance.”

Might all my attempts to improve myself be a subtle (or not so subtle) rejection of myself as I am?

What a loving gift it is to relax into Just This.

Me as I am, my life as it is, our porch that needs to be painted, my bank account as is, our oven that just shorted out….

And even if I have worries, or resistance, or heartache, there’s room for that too.

And maybe all of this, just as it is, is the key, the cure….

Another deep breath comes.

(I love it when I write what I need to read.)

One of those life-changing books for me, years ago when I was 18 or 19 was discovered on a shelf in the basement of the old Golden Braid Bookstore. It was Pema Chodron’s book Start Where You Are. It’s so rich with great teachings, but even right there in the title is a great one.

Is it actually possible to start anywhere other than where we are?

I’m giggling as I sit here, remembering the angst that’s been there for me in the past, wishing hard to be able to start somewhere other than THIS. Now it seems hilariously funny to me, and I have such compassion for my younger self….

oh….. how quickly life passes.

How confused and crazy our minds can be.

This view helps me so much:

As Russell said, “If a path of awakening is part of your destiny, then it is right in your life right now that you’ll find your doorway, your path.”

Wishing you a wonderful day,
and deeply bowing to you just as you are,
and your life, just as it is.
We are truly such fortunate beings…..

with warmth,

Erin

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