Can We «Let Go » All by Ourselves ?
I have a friend who’s gifted at psychological and spiritual counseling, and one of her favorite words is « let go ! » I’d love to, but it’s not that easy ! Can we manage to do it all by ourselves ? We hang on to our worries, our problems, our chagrin. Unconsciously, we may have the impression that they help to define us, to give us substance. They don’t, of course. Or perhaps we’d be delighted just to let go of them, but they’re obsessive and keep gate-crashing !
It’s as if we were dragging a heavy suitcase in the train station, crying out, « Please help me ! » and here’s a nice person who comes and picks it up for us, but our hand stays clenched on the handle.
There Goes My Teacher
Good grief, there goes that politician I can’t stand ! We hear some version of this every day these days, right ? In the US or in France, where I live. People’s fur is up and most are sure they have the right take on the situation, the person, the platform. I’m no different. But when I feel the roots of my hair rising (like my cat Kallie’s when she’s confronting that orange tabby in the backyard), I’m reminded of what the Buddhists advise us to think in such a case : not ˝There goes that & !;@* again˝, but ˝There goes my teacher.˝
I Met Job at the Penitentiary
Let’s call him Joe. I saw him dressed in sackcloth, his head shaved, sitting on a pile of rubble and ashes. His skin was afflicted with loathsome sores. Metaphors, of course. Joe is an intelligent man, gifted with a subtle understanding of people and events, and a delightful sense of humor,which hides his suffering—momentarily, at least—because once he begins telling his life story, suffering is all we can hear.
His parents didn’t succeed in beating him to death, so they dropped him off at a convent door. Having been dragged from one host family to another (eleven, all told), he calls himself a fed-ex parcel.