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Cranky, cripsy, and candle lit

Yesterday, I was full of thanks. Today, I am tired and more than a little irritated. I am crispy around the edges; congested, mouth and stomach fatigued from eating too much crap today, tired body aches that hint at Aunt Flo crashing my pad in the next few days, a chill in my core, that I will chase away with a hot shower as soon as I am done with this.

I thought about writing this Dose of the Good (and Not So Good) Words and had to move through resistance’s cold sludge to prod myself to light the candles and sit down to tip tap for a few minutes. I type and do not magically feel better, though I do feel satisfied that I kept my commitment to write by candle light every night. It is easy to think that if I (or you) do all the right things (exercise, eat right, meditate/pray, give generously, etc. and so forth) and I (or you) will be insulated from crappy moments. I (you) won’t be protected from wading through mental mud now and again.

I think many people start a spiritual practice spurred by a transcendent moment when things were radically okay/wonderful/calm/amazing/blissful, and think that they always will feel that way and that something is wrong if they don’t. I rather like Jack Kornfield’s book After the Ecstasy, the Laundry, which brings together the after the high, dealing with difficult life experiences of folks with long term practices in Buddhism, Hinduism and Christianity.

When I started my current religious practice, I had plenty of transcendent moments, which I enjoyed, but I didn’t mistake them for the practice. They are part of my practice, but they are not the whole of it. I savored (continue to savor) my practice when I sat/sit with difficulty, without trying to fix it, and without avoiding the unpleasant feelings. So during hideously boring sermons I do not worry that I am bored and annoyed and twitching. I let myself sit; I pay attention to the mess, but I know that boredom, annoyance and twitches will pass as quickly as amazement, joy and bliss. And tonight, I do my practice despite difficulty. It doesn’t make the difficulty go away, but there is a softening of hard edges, and I find that I am better able to hold tonight’s truth:

I am cranky, crispy, and candle lit.

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