There are moments when I feel overwhelmed by life—when circumstances create upheaval in my world while different circumstances create upheaval for friends. If I express this overwhelm to Mark, he says, "Sounds like a lot of life is happening around you." Reality check: I needn't be overwhelmed or shocked, this is what life looks like. People die, get divorced, lose jobs, and work with illness. No one is immune to hardship—hardship connects us.
And if I resist the hardship, I cause more pain. I get angry at the world: why does so much crappy stuff happen? This resistance separates me from myself and others, and it disconnects me from play and happiness. Irritation masks my pain, when I really need to feel; when I need to move toward the difficult places. So I ask myself: How is it supposed to be? My complicated answers often make me smile, and this lightheartedness brings me home.
Because life isn't supposed to be a certain way. We can't control difficult circumstances just like we can't control amazing moments of joy. When I let life flow, I more naturally feel silliness and wonder, and I more fully feel sadness and loss. In this way, I'm available to myself and others. Available with an open and spacious heart.