Throughout this year, several bloggers will engage in a conversation here and on their blogs — asking questions of each other and responding. Others are absolutely welcome to join the conversation, as well. Learn more about the ladies of Blogversation 2012.
I try not to be biased — there’s been so much good conversation in the Blogversation, with thoughtful questions and compelling answers — but I am so eager to see this week’s conversation.
Often when we’re in the midst of something painful, we can’t see its full effects. We can’t see that losing a job or going through a divorce or whatever other difficult experience is going to lead us to a dramatically better place.
Let life happen to you. Believe me: life is in the right, always.
One of the greatest mentors of my life is and has been the mythologist Joseph Campbell. He speaks of a conversation he had with a Taoist master in “The Power of Myth” that teaches him that we must say yes to life.
And yet when I think about what primitive civilizations faced, I imagine they faced loss every hour of the day – life threatening in fact and interestingly enough they said yes all the time! This from Campbell’s Pathway’s to Bliss:
“The first, primitive orders of mythology are affirmative: they embrace life on its own terms. I don’t think any anthropologist could document a primitive mythology that was world-negating. When you realize what primitive people run up against—the pains and the agonies and the problems of simply existing—I think it’s quite amazing. I’ve studied a lot of the myths of these cultures around the world, and I can’t recall a single negative word in primitive thought with respect to existence or to the universe. World-weariness comes later with people who are living high on the hog.”
I recently had a necklace made of this empowering word to help me remember that this is how I want to live. A life that says yes to life. Yet believe me I still find it really hard to say on some days in spite of it hanging around my neck. I yearn to say it all the time and sometimes because of grace I do. One of the ways that helps me say it in the fire and the rain is when I remember times in the past when life appeared to hand me what looked like an absolute horror and yet in the long run turned out to be the very key to my freedom and in fact wound up being the very best thing that could have happened to me.