“Suffering is not enough. Life is both dreadful and wonderful…How can I smile when I am filled with so much sorrow? It is natural–you need to smile to your sorrow because you are more than your sorrow.” — Thich Nhat Hanh
Such good advice. I need to heed it myself and pass it on to all I know. We become depressed wondering at times “how much can one person take” and “I need a break.”
Yet as our teacher reminds us, we are so much more than sorrow, suffering, and despair. Each of us is a source of joy to those around us, and even when the world seems to be crashing all around us, others look at us and admire our fortitude and courage.
Yes, we are so much more than our sorrow. It is all in the attitude we bring to any situation. I know it is easy to say such things. It is much harder to live through the tough times, but when we do, and we always do survive, we need to remember to smile.
During my sabbatical, I knew lots of men who looked and acted like the canary who fell in the bathtub and then was dried out with a blow dryer — drenched and blown out, but among those canaries were men who smiled, and laughed, and treated each day as a holiday.
They understood what it was like to be more than their sorrow.
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