Sunday, December 23, 2012
Rest Yourself in the Unexpected
Everybody, at this time of year, has their sadness, their losses, their failures to hover over and haunt them much like the spirits who visited Scrooge on Christmas Eve. These shadows are not easy to dispel and sometimes they keep you from moving ahead with some joyousness. Sometimes, when I am tempted to dwell upon hurts, lacks, or disappointments, I think about my daughter’s words a while ago.
She said no matter how bad things are, we still can’t just give up. We can’t ever give up. We have to do our very best every day with whatever comes our way. Our very best is all anybody can do. We can rest in that—that at the moment we are doing the best we can. We can rest in the thought that we are just an ordinary person doing our ordinary best. Nobody really cares if we are extraordinary. Even if we aspire to that. ordinary will do, every time.
A couple of people have told me they find this poem comforting when they are teetering on the edge of despondency and are looking for a tree limb of hope to grab onto as they slide toward the black cliff. It comes from a book I wrote called Children of the Gods. I copied and framed it for a good friend for his birthday last month. The book is my least best selling book but I find it even helps me to read it now and then. It reminds me that I always have the power to put things that bother me into a different perspective. There are only two ways to look at any approaching moment, with fear or with love. Here’s the poem:
You have become a prisoner
of the preconceived,
Your hopes are your insanity.
You cannot plan God, plan reality.
Reality is always a surprise.
The truth you seek is hidden
by your wish to find it.
You are chained to every pain
By the desire that it should not
Be happening the way it is.
It is the wanting something else
That nearly kills you.
When you give up all your hopes
You also give up all your fears.
Seek what is at hand.
Save yourself, heal yourself,
In the unexpected
A. B. Curtiss