With all its sham, drudgery, and broken dreams…
I was reflecting this morning on the fact that once you become part of this community you are always going to be in contact with people for whom things are going better (relative to your own situation) and people for whom things are going worse. (I know I said that there was no such thing as better in an earlier post, but hey.) The idea of a continuum of bad and good reminded me of Max Ehrmann’s Desiderata (pasted below). It’s a prose poem about how to achieve happiness in life, and one stanza says, If you compare yourself with others / you may become vain and bitter/ for always there will be greater and lesser persons than yourself. Not the same message exactly, but a reminder that perspective is critical. The poem has a number of other lines that are resonating with me today. NOT And whether or not it is clear to you / no doubt the universe is unfolding as it should. A big FUCK YOU on that one. But …do not distress yourself with dark imaginings / Many fears are born of fatigue and loneliness. That seems appropriate for today. I’ve e-mailed my RE for clarification of some of the things I was too distressed to really hear yesterday and am digesting his responses. (He got back to me within an hour! That’s service!) I’m set up for an IUI this cycle, and not surprisingly, knowing that I’m taking action (even if I believe it to be pointless action) has calmed me a little bit. I’ve thought about the things you guys are going through and gained perspective and humility. I mean, I’m not apologizing for being self-centered and dramatic, ’cause if I can’t do that here, where can I? But as you all pointed out, while Big Emotional Reactions are part of this process, time and support from others will lead you to a choice you’re comfortable with. I’m certainly comfortable doing one IUI and thinking about next steps! Anyway, thanks for the words of wisdom, y’all.
Go placidly amid the noise and haste,
and remember what peace there may be in silence.
As far as possible without surrender
be on good terms with all persons.
Speak your truth quietly and clearly;
and listen to others,
even the dull and the ignorant;
they too have their story.
Avoid loud and aggressive persons,
they are vexations to the spirit.
If you compare yourself with others,
you may become vain and bitter;
for always there will be greater and lesser persons than yourself.
Enjoy your achievements as well as your plans.
Keep interested in your own career, however humble;
it is a real possession in the changing fortunes of time.
Exercise caution in your business affairs;
for the world is full of trickery.
But let this not blind you to what virtue there is;
many persons strive for high ideals;
and everywhere life is full of heroism.
Especially, do not feign affection.
Neither be cynical about love;
for in the face of all aridity and disenchantment
it is as perennial as the grass.
Take kindly the counsel of the years,
gracefully surrendering the things of youth.
Nurture strength of spirit to shield you in sudden misfortune.
But do not distress yourself with dark imaginings.
Many fears are born of fatigue and loneliness.
Beyond a wholesome discipline,
be gentle with yourself.
You are a child of the universe,
no less than the trees and the stars;
you have a right to be here.
And whether or not it is clear to you,
no doubt the universe is unfolding as it should.
Therefore be at peace with God,
whatever you conceive Him to be,
and whatever your labors and aspirations,
in the noisy confusion of life keep peace with your soul.
With all its sham, drudgery, and broken dreams,
it is still a beautiful world.
Strive to be happy.