There can be no genuine beauty or harmony that does not acknowledge the opposite powers of anger, fierceness and destruction…a true spirituality includes all of life’s aspects, not only those we find pleasing or simple, writes Jane Hirshfield.
I need to be reminded of this time and time again. Because it’s so easy to configure some Mr. Potato Head version of my ideal spiritual self. And expend huge amounts of energy trying to be that. Trying to be… kind, loving, ever-forgiving, patient. All good stuff. But not real. And definitely not sustainable.
Because nothing lasts! No emotion, no spiritual state. My body, time, my life. Even meaning and understanding elude me at times. I search. Have moments of insight. Clarity, and then lose my way. And maybe that’s ok. Maybe this fluctuation and ever-changeability is what life is.
As Paul Tran writes in their exquisite poem “The Cave,” Sometimes that’s all there is. This. This—this feeling, this circumstance, self, this life, with all its ups and downs and joys and sorrows and moments of insight and moments of utter lostness.
So perhaps rather than creating some version of my ideal spiritual self, I can rest back and love what I see. Hold what I feel. And embrace the words of Hannah Emerson in her poem “Keep Yourself at the Beginning of the Beginning,”:
try to dive
down to the
that helps you get
that the world was made
from the garbage at the bottom
of the universe that was boiling over
with joy that wanted to become you