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Should We Give Life a "Label?"

Recently, someone said to me, during a beautiful discussion about life - "Life is hard, Kathleen. It's not mean to be easy." This comment gave me pause. I took a few breaths and reflected....

I have never thought to give life a label. A label limits us in our ability to grow and experience life from the myriad of different angles and possible outcomes.

May I suggest an alternative? Instead of giving life a label, could we see it as a beautiful dance of balance?

My daughter shared a book with me many years ago "No Mud No Lotus." Written by Thich Nhat Hanh, the Vietnamese Zen Buddhist spiritual leader. In his book, Hanh said, " Without suffering through the mud, you cannot find the happiness of the lotus. Without grit, there is no pearl. Hanh also believes that "if we know how to suffer, we suffer less."

Ram Dass, also known as "Baba Ram Dass," was a prominent Harvard Psychologist, American Spiritual Leader, and Yoga Guru, who has taken that concept of suffering a step further, by asking us to look at suffering as "grace."

In his teachings, Baba Ram suggests that suffering is an opportunity to learn and grow as spiritual beings (grace), suffering is a Karmic debt. As human incarnates, it is our thoughts that create emotions that cause the physical reaction to suffering, and it's our need for attachment that keeps us there. Karmic debt is released when we learn to let go of attachment.

Through his teachings, Baba Ram suggests we are the architects of our own lives. We are living a curriculum that we as souls have created, in order to learn and evolve as spiritual beings on earth. Might be a little contrasting to your own beliefs? However, consider this as a helpful example - Consider that the person who is sitting across from you creating turmoil, resentment, and maybe anger, is a soul that you love dearly and have asked to join you in this life to be your teacher in that very moment.

This perspective offers an opportunity to look at what is "hard" in life from a healthy perspective - instead of holding onto anger and reliving it over and over in our thoughts, maybe we see suffering as grace and an opportunity to let go of a Karmic debt? So to avoid repeating this same situation over and over throughout your lifetime?

Remind yourself when a person is seemingly causing you pain, that they too are feeling pain.

Life's dance reminds us that with every "hard" comes easy, with sadness, there is happiness, with anger, there is love.

Seeing the balance, performing the dance, embracing the journey with a heart full of love and a soul full of strength, that's the label you want. That's the concept to embrace.


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