Posted by: sistermom1 | February 3, 2011

Henry David Thoreau

According to Henry David Thoreau,

“However mean your life is, meet it and live it; do not shun it and call it hard names.  It is not bad…it looks poorest when you are richest.  The fault finder will find faults even in paradise.  Love your life, poor as it is.  You may perhaps have some pleasant, thrilling, glorious hours, even in a poor house.  The sun is reflected from the windows of the almshouse as brightly from the rich man’s abode; the snow melts before its door as early in the spring.”

I just re-read this quote and feel like Thoreau is speaking directly to me.  My life feels pretty “mean” at times.  It is difficult to convey how heavy the challenges feel.  I try not to spend time comparing my struggles with anyone else’s. That certainly is a losing proposition, as every struggle has its own value/purpose.

Thoreau had it right — on so many issues, including this.  Another friend sent me some encouraging words that echo Thoreau’s — although from a Buddhist perspective. 

“Everything that happens in our lives has meaning.  Moreover, the Buddhist way of life is to find and discover meaning in all things.  Nothing is futile or meaningless.  Whatever a person’s karma may be, it defintely has some profound significance.” 

As I continue to evolve and grow through this experience of MS, I have been exposed to some of the most encouraging words that I have ever encountered, from many different sources.  Many of these words were published years ago, but I had not met them before — maybe because I was not ready to learn the lessons they imparted. 

I do work to remain open to the messages that surround me — regardless of their specific source.  Even someone I have treated poorly in the past (yes, there have been some people, truth be told!) can share a perspective or approach with me from which I can learn.  It has happened, and it has dramatically changed the way I move through the world.  I have come to consider this experience a true blessing — true, it came covered in dark black paper with ugly designs on it — but after opening it and dealing with it for the past 6 years (6 years!) I resolve to not shun my life, and as I look out onto my snow-filled yard, I remind myself that despite my illness, the snow will melt for me just as quickly as it does for everyone else in the region, and the sun is shining just as brightly through my window as anyone else’s!


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