Tuesday, November 16, 2010

you will accept the beautiful gifts

-Even though someone else is dying. Even though somewhere, there is a small child hurting that you can't help, that you don't even know about. Even though in your very own family, someone is probably hurting at this very moment. Even though today, as you carried new life and rejoiced in your children, a family in your community was laying to eternal rest their 17 year old son, Tyler. Even though some day, maybe tomorrow, you might be facing the worse pain of your life: Because some day, maybe tomorrow, you might face the worse pain of your life- because of this, it is the height of egoism and waste to feel guilty for being blessed. To feel the tremble of the Universe's great jaws as you are embraced and carried along what would have been a long, lonely and hard walk: because you have walked there, and because you will again, and because you can only offer those you love what you can carry inside of you: you will accept your joy without shame, without guilt, without fear.

Or: you will feel the fear, and you will ignore it. You will give it a sideways glance of pity and perhaps a nod of recognition, and you will walk into your gifts with an open heart. You will accept the beautiful gifts, because you deserve beautiful things to happen even though you are not perfect, and even though you have caused pain to other people in your life, and even though you probably will again. You will embrace the joy around you because you wish your children to embrace the joy around them. You will accept love and care and abundance because these things will strengthen your blood when your blood runs thin, when Aslan is revealed as the King and your feet are in thin air and you realize it is your time to mourn: because then, only if you have this rich once-loved blood, will you be able to go where you are being carried without taking everyone you love with you.

You will be loved deeply because you wish to love deeply. You recognize that suffering is ongoing in this world, and accept that refusing your deepest, most profound joys to sink as far as they can into your heart is not protecting anyone, anywhere from their pain.

You cannot hoard your happiness in a cellar, untouched, so as to offer it to those who are in despair. It doesn't work like that.

How it works is so simple and deconstructed that you feel you have missed the point- but you haven't: you take what you are given, you are grateful for it, you embrace it, and then when someone is in front of you that you can help or heal in any small or large way, you do so. That is your moral obligation, your spiritual foundation, and the reason to exist with other human beings. If you do not take what you are offered by the Universe, you will not be able to give when the hungry and despairing heart is lain into your hand like the sparrow God keeps his eye on. If you want to love more, do not refuse to be loved.

It is this: You cannot stop loss by refusing love. You can only make loss mean something by ever having been loved and by loving.

This is the meaning behind the horror: we give meaning with our lives. We create meaning with our action. Create the world you want your children to believe in. Face love and accept it. You cannot change the end of the story. You can change the story, though.

Get to it.
Middle Child said...

You said it all. Its how I feel. Having had a lot of tragedy, I still smile easily, see the birds and flowers, and am so happy for others when good things come - ...and I believe in angels because I have seen one so I know there is a reason and we will know all in the great hereafter -

Andrea said...

I think by changing the story, we change the end.

SJ said...

You've got a pretty gorgeous heart yourself, MM :)

Irish Gumbo said...

Yes, ma'am. Right away! (and stop reading my mind :)

Julia said...

Oh, do I believe this!

Treasure the treasures you're given, even in the midst of pain. Especially in the midst of pain. Because they're still treasures. And they're still yours. And they remind you of the you that is still in there, who can still be celebrated, who can still make the world a better place. And when we choose to pay attention to and value the gifts we are given, it's like investing them and getting interest.

anymommy said...

I'm off. This is stunning.

Mary said...

The most beautiful post ...

Thank you.

Elisabeth said...

Life and death juxtaposed and still we go on living.

Take care now, Maggi,e on the threshold of sharing a new life soon.

Elisabelle said...

beautiful...
i often have the feeling that i did not know how to be happy "before".
now every single and simple moment of peace, love, friendship is treasured.
and i started to live now in the precious present.
thank you so much for your words on my last post.

Ms. Moon said...

That is what I tell myself daily. All the time. Every moment.
But you said it perfectly and with such love.
Oh Maggie. Let's all remember this if we can. Let's put it in our bones.

Zip n Tizzy said...

The world - such a complicated and beautiful place.

Thanks Maggie.

Sarcastic Bastard said...

This is truly beautiful, Maggie. I love you so!

Miss Tricky said...

How beautifully put! I needed to read this today.

6512 and growing said...

Oh so beautiful.

When I was 24 weeks pregnant with my 1st (after a 2nd-trimester miscarriage) I asked a Buddhist teacher if I should temper my joy at being pregnant with the sober reality of what can happen.

He replied something about the gift of experiencing joy and the folly of tempering it because of "what ifs."

One week later my son was born, extremely prematurely, and I am so glad I dwelled in the joy of that pregnancy while I was lucky enough to be pregnant.

Mwa said...

AMEN

amanda {the habit of being} said...

wow. this is just a beautiful post. thank you!

ButtonHole said...

Might be your best post ever!

(Hey! Ever! Get it? haha)

But you so many great ones...how to pick? Anyway, this touched me a lot. I've been in a dark place of late and this jolted me.

I took your "we can't change the end" to mean that yes, we'll all one day have to die, but until then.....until then....

deb said...

wow.
how did you do that?

Maggie May said...

yes, Buttonhole :) yes.

Terresa said...

"We give meaning with our lives. We create meaning with our action. Create the world you want your children to believe in. Face love and accept it. You cannot change the end of the story. You can change the story, though."

Yes, yes, yes. I would like to print this on a billboard for everyone I know and then some. Beautiful.

Annie said...

Dear Maggie,
I have read your post several times over the past two days. I love everything it says, because I have been there, too. There were periods of time when I felt the weight of pain, and it was difficult to lift it, even though I was surrounded by people who loved me. A very long time ago now, more than ever in the past four years, I came to believe as you believe. I started to find quotes from your passage to show you where I agreed, and what I identified with the most, and it was everything. This is a beautifully written passage, but more than that, it is profound. I love how you close the post: Get to it. Because what you say is so obvious and transparent, and logical: Feel the love, give the love. You can’t heal the world; but you can heal yourself in large ways and small, help those you love, and care about the person in front of you. Thank you for sharing your thoughts and reflections.

Angella Lister said...

Thank you, Maggie May. I have read this several times now, and I just want to say thank you.

karen gerstenberger said...

This is a lovely posting. It reminds me of one of my favorite passages, which is on our refrigerator, from the Talmud:
"Do not be daunted by the enormity of the world's grief. Do justly, now. Love mercy, now. Walk humbly, now. You are not obligated to complete the work, but neither are you free to abandon it." You are wise to enjoy life and love, and to spread it around as you do.

Phoenix said...

I'm going to print this out and hang this beside my computer. I hope you don't mind. It's just that it's so very beautiful, and a gift in and of itself, and I am feeling a little worn and used and poor at the moment.

Thank you. A million times.

Ali said...

You've left me speechless. Wow.

Jeanne said...

I saw over at Stacy's that you got a short story published. Bravo!

leaves sticks stones said...

Such Good Words.
And Such Good Writing.
Thank You.

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