Sunday, August 9, 2020

August 9--The Lows Enable the Highs

Only if you have been in the deepest valley can you ever know how magnificent it is to be on the highest mountain.  --Richard M. Nixon 

    Intense sorrow makes for intense joy. It's part of the play of opposites in earthly life. While I don't for a second believe we are here to suffer, it happens. Pain makes us really celebrate the absence of it. Losing a loved one makes us more appreciative of those remaining.
    I've lost both of my parents, my mother to cancer when I was 23, my father to a long decline into dementia when I was 44. It's a game-changer, losing a parent. I remember walking around in a fog afterwards, realizing that no one I encountered as I went about daily life had any idea of how much I was hurting. It gave me great empathy for others. How many other folks were in mourning? Recently experienced some trauma? It's a cause for living with great kindness, for we don't know what's going on in other folks' lives.
    I completed Forrest Yoga teacher training in 2011. For assorted reasons, there were some deep valleys involved in that experience. Being horribly homesick (I was away for a month), I called my husband every day at our 11 am break. As he will confirm, I was either gloriously happy or I sobbed the whole time. Bless him for surviving that! Completion of that 28-day intensive training definitely put me on the "highest mountain." I was tempted to stop folks on the street to give them my autograph, 'cause I felt like a rock star.
    I suggest that we don't deny ourselves the valleys of life, for they make the mountaintop joys all the better.
    Both valleys and mountaintops are beautiful,

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