I heard a beautiful quote this week; Adversity introduces us to ourselves. That hit me straight between the eyes, because it’s true.
There have been many times throughout my life that I’ve faced major adversity, more than I care to go into in this blog – I like to keep these writings at around 700-750 words so we don’t have time for that. But just wait, I may or may not be working on a book….
I will admit that about 12 years ago I went through a really tough time when I was emotionally broken and completely defeated. I know it was that long ago because I was diagnosed with breast cancer the following year. I was suffering from some major depression and anxiety, and through counseling I got to the root of some of the issues that were causing me pain, but a lot were still left on the table. I often wonder how much stress and anxiety played in my cancer diagnosis.
It was during this time that I found the little statue, whose picture I have up at the top of this blog. It totally and completely represented the sorrow that I was feeling at the time. I spent a lot of time during those months wanting to curl up into a ball and sink my face into my hands and just weep. Weep until I had no more tears to cry. I could just see myself in his posture.
It turns out he is called The Weeping Buddha. The story behind it is very sad and involves a warrior who mistakenly kills his son in battle. It is believed that the weeping Buddha takes away the grief and troubles of the world. In return, he bestows peace and provides strength to those who rub his back.
In all the troubles I’ve experienced, I’ve had one singular focus throughout it all- whatever happened, I held my head high and moved through the trenches of strife with dignity and grace. Sometimes I had to chant “Dignity and Grace” as my mantra over and over to keep from turning into an ugly-face crying mess, but it has been my focus through every difficult chapter of my life.
Especially so, throughout this past year. I can’t recall any other time in my life when I was both scared out of my wits and spiritually calm all at the same time. I knew it was part of The Plan to divorce my ex husband and be alone. I didn’t realize the unstable, unlevel ground I had been existing on for who knows how many years. When I look back, it was like balancing on one of those half-exercise balls – the one’s with the flat side on one end so you have to fully engage every muscle in your body to keep it level and not fall over on your face. Imagine one of those,….balancing on an iceberg,….during an earthquake.
Here I am though, about three-quarters through the first year single, and I am my real self. I indeed feel like this year has introduced me to her, and I like the crap out of her. She’s a pretty bad ass babe and I wish I’d gotten to know her sooner. Of course, it wasn’t time to meet her yet. She was still growing and developing. (ok, I need to quit with the third-person references here) I like who I am. A LOT. My self-confidence is probably higher than it’s ever been, I’m taking better care of myself than I have in years and I love my life. LOVE IT!
It’s funny, I have two of these little carved wood statues, one sits on my desk at the office and one is on my beside table. Until writing this blog, I had a totally different understanding of what the story behind this little guy was. I thought his story was of a sect of Monks that fold themselves over into a ball and rock while they meditate. I remember feeling a little let down when I discovered the story didn’t match the feelings it had helped me identify when it first came into my life, but now that I know that it indeed is significant of the sorrow that we all experience now and then, I’m going to give this little fella a stroke every time I pass by. Maybe a little of my peace and happiness will shine out into the world like sparkly rainbow unicorn farts. Maybe?