For the past 10 days, I've been mulling a provocative quote and question posed by Marcia Hyatt of Waterline in her weekly newsletter:
"Even a happy life cannot be without a measure of darkness,
and the word happy would lose its meaning if it were not balanced by sadness.
It is far better take things as they come along with patience and equanimity."
Where do I need more patience and equanimity?
My first answer was more like a question: um, everywhere? But somehow that seemed like cheating, so I've let question rattle around in my brain for a while, and I got clarity about it this week. Humbling clarity.
For the sake of the innocent (and not so innocent), I'll leave off the names and details. Let's just say it's been a hard 3 days at work. With a few tears. And a few embarrassing comments I wish I could take back. One verrrrrry long day. Some miscommunication. Some big ole fears triggered. And, mercifully, some resolution today.
But I very clearly lost any and all equanimity during the past 76 hours. I even uttered the words, "I expect an apology," which runs so counter to all I've learned since the Year of the Sledgehammer, when I realized that I can have expectations of myself, but to have them of others or even of a situation is to plant seeds of resentment. And, honestly, who needs that?
So, I love the concept of equanimity, that quality of remaining detached, wise, and yet fully present, kind, and so serenely grounded one cannot be moved off center. Like Nelson Mandela. Or Winnie the Pooh. Or Sister Paula at Clare's Well.
I don't know many people who embody equanimity, though I know some truly patient souls. I think it must take practice and discipline and deep trust that the universe is fundamentally good. That last one? Check. The first one? Working on it. The middle one, well, that may be what's tripping me up.
So, if you have suggestions about discipline or any other ideas about cultivating equanimity, please share them with me? I'm all ears.
Image by Vicky's Nature