Advice to a friend

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Thank you so much for this. You are an old soul wu.

Begin with yourself, always aspire to be the change you hope to see in the world. If each of us did (could do) so, that would be enough.

Some things to do: find time to be alone, learn to meditate, journal, read poetry (Kipling’s poem “If,” Whitman’s “Song of Myself,” anything by Rumi) and literature (The Bible) and autobiography (Mark Twain’s “Jean is dead,” chapter). Strengthen your core. Eat produce and nuts and nothing that has no expiration date. Get out of the city and into the woods.

Be aware of your perception of the world and how it is a distortion and accept that the only thing your can have is your perception but work to wake up and see as true as possible. This is a lifelong project.

Your emotions are just part of your weather system. Some days are sunny, a few are stormy. The storms will pass. Do no harm during your storms.

Next, your family. Seek to simply understand them, not to judge them. Draw boundaries, but never walls. Trust that inside each is their own perfection and their lives are a stumbling journey to that self. Help them on that journey, especially your husband and your sons.

Next, extend that to your neighborhood, your city, the world. Realize that others are not here to serve you and the world owes you nothing and you are a visitor with a short-term visa that might expire sooner than expected and will expire for sure.

Think about your life’s work and live with that and accept that your impact, like most, including mine, will be small to the world but potentially large to someone. Let go of yourself. Let life flow like a stream through your fingers. Love with persistence (like the sun that rises no matter what happened the day before). Love your imperfect, little, evolving life, which is the life we all live. What a tempest, what a fury; what a blessing, what a joy.

November 25, 2018.

by Anna Swir

Great humility fills me,
great purity fills me,
I make love with my dear
as if I made love dying
as if I made love praying,
tears pour
over my arms and his arms.
I don’t know whether this is joy
or sadness, I don’t understand
what I feel, I’m crying,
I’m crying, it’s humility
as if I were dead,
gratitude, I thank you, my fate,
I’m unworthy, how beautiful
my life.

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