Whenever I am looking for some go-to words in a hard situation, the 13th century Persian poet Rumi is usually my guy. Rumi’s wisdom is immense, and today’s quote although not his most poetic, is as wise and truthful as any words ever written.
Yesterday was a tough day at our house. We have a young child who has a serious auto-immune disorder. We have spent the last two years seeking every type of traditional and alternative medical care imaginable. It’s an unpredictable and devastating disorder and watching my son’s struggle has been the single biggest challenge I have ever faced in my life. When this disorder ignites, our entire family life goes into chaos. Unexpectedly, yesterday morning fate pulled that match across the black grainy surface of our lives. Our little boy awoke on fire for lack of a better term.
I will spare you the details and just leave it at this; it was a tough morning. Even though we know that this illness is part of our reality, when it roars into our lives uninvited, it always feels like hitting a brick wall going 90mph. So after this difficult morning, I arrived to my office looking like I felt (rotten), and my first client of the day took notice. She also reads the Daily Rx so when she said I looked a bit tired, I just laughed and referring to that days writing I said, “There were no dancing bears at our house this morning…” She knew just what I meant and commented that it was helpful to hear that I have days where I struggle.
What ensued after this was a long conversation about what the true nature of a spiritual path entails.Yes- I put words together nicely, yes- I have packed a whole lot of great knowledge into my brain over the years – but that does not save me from my lessons or from myself. Some days absolutely lay me out- and despite what I know about entrainment, and quantum physics, and enlightened concepts I just don’t have it in me to do anything but fall apart for a little while. This does not mean I have failed- it means that I have fallen down eight times, and I need to get up nine.
Working at being an evolving human is the hardest work we will ever do. It does not earn us any hall passes, does not ensure that a yellow brick road will emerge before us, and it does not protect us from struggle. What it does is promise us that we will grow- that we will learn to be bigger than the obstacles that we encounter. Waking up is hard- staying awake is even harder. Be gentle with yourself- find humor in your foibles- own the failures. When you fall down, take notes- and then get back up when you can. Yesterday morning I crawled for a while. So what? If its good enough for Rumi, its good enough for me too.