September 12
I have sometimes been wildly,
despairingly, acutely miserable,
racked with sorrow, but through
it all I still know that just to be
alive is a grand thing.

Agatha Christie


Today's Meditation:

I could use Agatha's words precisely to describe many times in my life, times when depression has been extremely strong and hope has been extremely weak.  Those have been times that have pushed me almost to the end of my ability to stand them, but always in the back of my mind was that small voice that said, "You feel horrible, but life is good.  Just stick it out."  I always argued with that voice, but it always won out.

To be alive is a grand thing.  To be able to experience this life and its gifts and its challenges for the very short time that we're on this planet is an amazing adventure, a wonderful experience, and a fulfilling journey, all wrapped into one--if we allow it to be so.  Despair will raise its head, as will sorrow and frustration and anger and so many other things that seem to want to push us to the point of giving up, but we must never do so.

It's okay to be sorrowful, and it's okay to be angry and sad and frustrated and lonely and all those other things.  They're just as much a part of human existence as everything else is.  The trick is not to let those things define us, not to let them overwhelm us and turn us into something that we don't want to be or something that we shouldn't be.  Agatha Christie was one of the world's most successful authors, yet she still went through her times of despair--and she still came through those times because she knew in her heart that life itself is beautiful, no matter what kinds of feelings try to tell us that it isn't.

Sorrow is a sign of life, a sign of feeling.  A woman once told me that we feel things like despair and depression because we live more deeply and feel more deeply, and the despair is one of the prices we pay for doing so.  And I have to say that if I had it to do over again, I would prefer to live deeply and still have to deal with the sorrow over not living deeply at all and living sorrow-free.

Questions to consider:

Is being alive a grand thing?

How much of sorrow's hold on us do we give to it ourselves?

Why is it important that we not let ourselves lose all hope, even when we're in the grip of sorrow or despair?

For further thought:

Sorrow comes in great waves. . . but rolls over us, and
though it may almost smother us, it leaves us.
And we know that if it is strong, we are stronger,
inasmuch as it passes and we remain.

Henry James


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