GrasshopperNotes.com - Thoughts for inspired living


April 22, 2014

My Memoir

Filed under: John Morgan's Blog — John Morgan @ 7:35 am

C166889 mIf I ever write a memoir, I know its title: “It Snowed on My Birthday.”

My birthday is in April and I have lived in the northeast most of my life. I have seen snow in April, but never before on my birthday, until this year.

This really isn’t about birthdays or snow, it’s about the downside and it’s proper place in our lives.

It seems to me that we spend a goodly portion of our lives attempting to escape or ignore the downside. That’s like wishing it won’t ever rain.

The downside is as much of a reality in life as the upside, and pretending it’s not there is theatre. Watch the amount of drama you create when you pretend that there’s no down.

Just take the perfunctory and patterned response you offer when someone casually asks, “How are you?” You outwardly say, “Just fine.” Inwardly, you countermand your pronouncement and have a emphatic conversation about the litany of things that aren’t “fine.”

This isn’t a suggestion to regale everyone you meet with a detailed list of what’s going on with you when they’re just being social; it’s more of a wake-up call to get you to notice how you attempt to cover over the downside.

There is no escaping pain. Ask anyone who’s gone through labor or passed a kidney stone. To pretend it’s not there is folly. The same is true for the downside.

I will always have a preference for the upside but I know it’s not a perpetual state. Henry Wadsworth Longfellow reminded us: “Into each life some rain must fall.” As profound as that statement is, it’s one of his lesser known quotes that contains instructions on how to handle it: “The best thing one can do when it’s raining is to let it rain.”

You may have heard me say before that I believe all addictions point to emotional cowardice – not wanting to feel the underlying sensations that drive one’s addictions. Being addicted to the upside will cause the downside to be more potent and last longer simply because we won’t acknowledge it.

Up and down are twins. The sooner you stop dressing them alike and stop making one appear as the other, the sooner you will experience the differences they have to offer. Their gifts are complementary – one really can’t be truly appreciated without the presence of the other.

I’m not suggesting to celebrate the downside, just begin to acknowledge it when it arrives. It’s my experience that its stay will be shorter when you shovel the walk together.

All the best,

John



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