On the Other Side
When I sustained a serious wrist injury during a yoga workshop, it was a hard lesson to learn. It required surgery and months of rehabilitation. Students would arrive at my classes and upon realizing that the person in the cast/brace was the instructor, they would inquire if they were in the right place. I found this question mildly amusing due to the fact that during the whole process, from injury, to surgery, to healing, I would frequently ask myself the same question.
The forecast for this entire week was, originally, all rain. Even though the earth desperately needed this forecast, I did not. I was not happy. Saturday morning I began to feel a bit “under the weather” (pun intended). By Sunday I had a full-blown cold and my mood continued to deteriorate. I was sullen about the rain, my cold made me irritable, and I was downright furious that I was grumpy. This morning, I decided to try a different tactic and to just let everything be as it is. I stopped trying to resist my mood and gave myself permission to get a little rough-and-tumble with my dark side. I also began to entertain the idea that a low-key week with plenty of precipitation might be just what I needed. Ironically enough, both my disposition and the sky began to lighten as I made this shift.
Rumi’s Poem “The Guest House” says it all so eloquently:
This being human is a guest house.
Every morning a new arrival.
A joy, a depression, a meanness,
some momentary awareness comes
as an unexpected visitor.
Welcome and entertain them all!
Even if they’re a crowd of sorrows,
who violently sweep your house
empty of its furniture,
still, treat each guest honorably.
He may be clearing you out
for some new delight.
The dark thought, the shame, the malice,
meet them at the door laughing,
and invite them in.
Be grateful for whoever comes,
because each has been sent
as a guide from beyond.
The inability to get into a certain posture, the injury, the illness, the weather, the bad mood…these things are not the problem. It is our resistance to them that creates the problem. Our struggle with the the things that we have the inability to change or control simply stand to make matters worse. When we are in the middle of these circumstances, it can be challenging to find the switch, to change our sign from “closed” to “open”. The illnesses can be severe and the storms can be devastating. The clearing out process can be painful and finding gratitude for that discomfort can be difficult.
My Grandmother use to say: “Let go and let God.” I say, let the rain.