Finding joy: go around the boulder


“When you realize how perfect everything is you will
tilt your head back and laugh at the sky.”

– Buddha

Got this gem from my HearthMath quote of the day list. Can’t you just picture the Buddha sitting there with his twinkling eyes and big round stomach (I love the laughing Buddha carvings), encouraging us to laugh with him at our own foibles and the absurdities of this life? When I was a kid and got angry about something bad that I was sure wasn’t right, I often used to choke out the words, “It’s not fair!” through my tears and frustration. And my mom would whirl around, angry herself then, and hiss back at me, “Who told you life was fair?” My mom and dad, like so many in the world, had more than their share of unfair things happen to them–from dysfunctional parents, stays in orphanages, and grinding Depression poverty, to losing a beloved first son and killing to keep from being killed in World War II.

I didn’t get it then. Didn’t really know what she meant. I’ve learned since then, of course, but I can imagine how much quicker and easier the lesson would have been if we’d both known about Buddha’s philosophy and been able to take his words to heart. How do we turn tragedy into laughter?

Today, when things aren’t fair, I don’t like it any better than I did as a kid. But I’ve come to accept that this is the way life and people can be. It’s like in the little kids’ Nick, Jr. show where Moose’s friend, the blue bird Zee, is in a race and arrives at a big boulder in the path. And Moose asks the kids watching, well, should Zee go AROUND the boulder or try to go under it?

If we accept that boulders are simply part of life, we learn to use our creativity to go around them and get back on path. If we accept that we might not even finish a race, we can still choose to do the best possible job—and enjoy the work we do. If we believe that everything is perfect as it is, we can find reasons to laugh at the sky even when things are at their blackest. Whether it’s a rotten economy, an abusive relationship, a crappy job, or a serious health challenge, all we need to do is come up with Plan B and Plan C—and even with the worst case senario—and we will always be ready to find the positive.

And when single working women reach out to support each other, we get an extra layer of cushioning to help us feel the joy.

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