When I ask people how they are at the start of classes I’m usually met with just silence and nods - over time I’ve taken this to mean people are ‘ok’. And that’s because that’s pretty much where people are. The world exists as extremes, but we only find ourselves at those extremes briefly, most of the time we live in between.
One extreme I’ve been thinking about (and experiencing) recently is pain. Likelihood is everyone has experienced some type of pain; physical, emotional. And obviously they hurt. And sometimes they can really hurt! And to get through those challenging, painful times I have to remind myself of the only constant of life - change. Nothing in life remains the same - everything is constantly moving, vibrating, evolving. Not even nature can sustain her extremes - there’s always a calm after the storm.
Understanding and appreciating this can provide comfort through tough times - the knowledge that it’s only temporary. This can also offer a sense of freedom - rather than seeing pain as something to endure, instead gives us the opportunity to just experience it as just another fascinating part of existence. That’s not to say I wish to seek out pain, but now I have a different interpretation of it.
And appreciating the universe exists in extremes also means that when I’m experiencing great pain, I can only do this because it means it’s in contrast to an equally great pleasure that I’ve experienced, as one can’t exists without the other. I think we often we try to block out painful things, and only focus on the good, but really they’re just two sides of the same coin. And we should look to live life experiencing the whole coin.
Reminding myself of these - that my pain only exists because of an equal pleasure, and that nothing lasts forever - helps me though the more challenging moments.