Just Pull Back the Curtain

Lately, thanks to some time under my belt doing meditation, I have been aware of how many times a day—an hour actually—I think that somehow my life is different or I’m different. When I get up in the morning and don’t bound out of bed, pain-free and with the same smooth face and skin I had 20 years ago, I compare myself, and even my aches and pains, to somebody else’s.

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Window with lace curtain

I look at my bank balance, and think, “How could that possibly be right? By now, I ought to be wading through those bonds, and give a damn that the stock market just dropped 800 points. What in the world did I do wrong to have THIS balance?”

Every time I compare myself to someone else, it leaves me feeling completely alone. It’s as if I’m the only one who hurts, doesn’t have enough money, hasn’t found the love of my life, and can’t even drink wine anymore. Later, it really hits me! I start listing every friend and family member I have. Every single one of them has been sick, has parents who are aging, are afraid of a diagnosis, or sad about some loss in their life. They, too, are confused and ashamed about something they “should have done,” thinking they “wouldn’t be in this predicament,” if only…

My friends aren’t unusual or unique. When I pull back the curtain that isolates me and makes me feel ashamed, embarrassed, and believing it must be about me, what I see is the sea of humanity. All of us swimming in the same waters of life.

Donna Bailey
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To all that is brief and fragile
Superficial, unstable,
To all that lacks foundation
Argument or principles;
To all that is light,
Fleeting, changing, finite
To smoke signals,
Wand roses,
To sea foam
And mists of oblivion…
To all that is light in weight
For itinerants
On this transient earth
Somber raving
With transitory words
And vaporous bubbly wines
I toast
In breakable glasses…

-- Maria Eugenia Baz Ferreira