Pain and Confusion


You can’t go through life without it. And my life is no exception. I am very familiar with these old friends.

The last few weeks I have managed to spiral into a confused state, somewhat losing my center. I’ve been having a hard time listening to my heart, or maybe I listen, but I’m not really hearing what it’s telling me. I do that sometimes. I actually know something both intuitively and consciously, but I choose to make a different choice, because I want to see what will happen. That’s all fine, until I find myself surprised by an outcome that I really already knew. It’s like I try to trick myself back into ignorance. But once you have some sort of knowledge or wisdom about something, pretending ignorance just doesn’t really work. And the only person who suffers is you.

Sometimes it’s fun being a lost and confused 38 year-old. Sometimes it’s painful. This week it’s tipped towards painful.

I was at a party the other night and someone read my tarot cards. I got a bunch of cards I didn’t like. You probably wouldn’t like them either. But I noticed how bummed out I was at that idea that “bad” things might occur. I’m still grasping and hoping for everything to be wonderful and everything to work out. But that’s not how life is, is it? I spoke with a friend who gave me the same gentle reminder from her own experience. It’s not that there won’t be challenges and hard times, but that you will be able to relate with them as they are, when they happen. And really, the more they happen, the more you have opportunities to build confidence and trust in your ability to see them through. So I remind myself of this as I have a particularly painful day. It’s not the end of the world. It’s just life. And as my other friend reminds me, it’s free and well favored.


Looking at the sky is always helpful, and this:

“Grant your blessings so that my mind may be one with the dharma

Grant your blessings so that dharma may progress along the path

Grant your blessings so that the path may clarify confusion

Grant your blessings so that confusion may dawn as wisdom”

-The Four Dharmas of Gampopa


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