Accepting the unacceptable

mourning statue

At times like this, it’s hard for me to make sense out of the violence and suffering that occur in the world. I talk often about acceptance and awareness, and yet here I sit, a hypocrite, finding it near impossible to reconcile or make peace with what has happened this past week. But, I think what helps me avoid getting stuck in a glut of anger is realizing that acceptance doesn’t necessarily mean endorsement.

In 2012 there have been more than 50 mass shootings in the U.S., the most recent at a Connecticut school that left 27 people are dead, including 18 children. As I type the words, it’s hard for me to digest. I truly have no words.

Although I’ve never met him, one of my most beloved teachers is Eckhart Tolle. His words tranformed me when I was in a not-so-awesome place. I thought this video on dissolving suffering was poignant. It’s not about mass violence, but the message on transmuting suffering into peace is worth watching.

“I object to violence because when it appears to do good, the good is only temporary; the evil it does is permanent.”

– Mahatma Gandhi

Be well. Love and be loved. Namaste.

– Your Charmed Yogi

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(Photo: StLouisCatholic)

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Sometimes, you just have a crap week

woman with an umbrellaOn a scale of one to un-fun, this week has been less than bright and sunny.   Between the ebb and flow of stress at work and dear friends experiencing loss and disappointment, this has not been the kind of week you celebrate.  Or, is it?

I’ve talked before about gratitude, and the stark reminders the universe often sends our way to be grateful for what we have.   This week was one of those reminders.   Several friends experienced the loss of loved ones unexpectedly, and another saw a dream slip away.  It made the horrible situation that I was dealing with at work seem quite trivial in comparison.  Yet, for all of us, the emotional pain was quite real.

How we cope with disappointment, loss and unexpected stress is a good indicator of whether or not we understand what it means to experience joy — even when current circumstances are extremely unpleasant.    Many people want to run away from pain, because, well, it’s pain.  It’s not fun or enjoyable.   I used to run away from pain with a glass of wine, or a daily dose of whatever the anti-depressant was for the moment, but the pain was still there.    I just chose to ignore it, not face it.   That shifted when I dedicated myself to finding joy.  My path happened to be through yoga.  Even so, everyone still has moments when we want to bury our head in the sand and pretend the day or week never happened.

This week, I’ve witnessed true beauty in seeing friends face their pain head on, sit with it, acknowledge it, and move through it.   And, in an attempt to continue to live the path I’ve chosen, and out of deference to my friends who are facing their loss with grace, I too resisted the temptation to succumb to the darkness of apathy and resistance.    Despite all the good in their lives, there are people everyday who are suffering.   And, yet, as trite and Pollyanna as it may seem, there is something good that can come of the suffering if you’re willing to open your eyes.

Sometimes in life, the greatest joy is only accessible after experiencing the deepest grief.   Today, April 21st, 2012.  There are two funerals, two heartaches and much loss.  And, there is also new life.   There are three babies turning one today.   There’s a baby on her way here in two weeks, and new love is finding it’s way.  Even less romantically poetic, we are here.  We are breathing, living, reading, blogging, loving, grieving, supporting, thriving, being.

Today is also a new moon.  A time for rebirth, renewal and starting over.  Set an intention today to be grateful that you are here, that you are loved, and remember why you get up every day and who is important to you.  Appreciate little things like no bills in the mailbox, a smile from a stranger or the sun peeking out of the clouds.    It WILL illuminate the darkness.

This post is for my beautiful friends Pam, Katie, Rob, Antonio, Nancy and Collette and everyone else who had just a crap week.

Namaste.

– Your Charmed Yogi