Life is uncomfortable, so practice compassion, and Erkin Koray.
We live at a time when it is of critical importance to remain aware of and nourish all of our relationships.
Life is already hard enough.
If you really stop and think about it, there are likely no complete days where we do not experience some form of discomfort. From infancy, our bodies are exploding with growth from the inside out. Our cells push outward, stretching muscle fibers, and creating shelves of calcified sheets to create our bones. Teeth burst through our gums, fall out, and give way to bigger and larger teeth that were hiding inside our jaw bones. At later stages in life, the cells start to degrade, creating imperfect copies of their originals, telomeres grow shorter, and new aches and pains accompany the passing moments.
Why am I reminding you about how uncomfortable it is to exist in a body? Because that is where our lives happen. While we constantly generate, alter, and project our narrative of who we are, what our life is, and what it should be there is a baseline that we must return to in order to experience the continuity of our lives. The physical reality of our lives on this planet is something we cannot afford to ignore, bypass, or have a contentious relationship with. For better or worse, we have these bodies, we live on this planet with resources that are not easily renewable, and it everything (including us) is impacting and constantly changing everything. We cannot control this process because there are too many variables that we have no awareness about. The complexity of this closed system that we inhabit is mind-boggling, awe-inspiring, or dread-inducing depending on the story we decide to believe. In any case, we are here.
Our very existence is part of and contributing to something unseen and mysterious. Living is a marvelous opportunity to explore our relationship with existence. We have access to our own inner landscape, as well as the outer world and all of its inhabitants. At every moment we have the opportunity to lean into those relationships, to express our inner states, dreams, desires, etc. We also have as much chance to receive feedback, to listen, learn, and witness the world around us communicate with us. It is our responsibility to reach back to this world, to embrace and connect with what is connecting with us. This is something we all learn, rather imperfectly, to do. We all inherit habits, tendencies, and patterns from our ancestors and peers that skew our capacity to connect cleanly with existence. And, as stated above, we are in discomfort so often, that the messages we receive from the world around us can be hard to hear, understand, or tolerate when we are in the basic discomfort of simply existing. Distracting ourselves from the awkwardness and discomfort of our embodied experience is all totally understandable, and par for the course, and is also exactly why spiritual traditions teach us to cultivate self-compassion, patience, forbearance, and persistence.
So as we round out this calendar year, please take care to take care of your basic needs, invest in the relationships that you have (with healthy boundaries), investigate and learn to communicate your feelings and needs, and have infinite compassion for yourself and everyone else as much as you can. We are all in this world together for the duration.
If you want to talk about this life, and be reminded that you're not alone, join the monthly Satsang (details below).
Inspired by Erkin Koray - Cemalim