Beauty and pain

“Things can be both immensely difficult and intensely beautiful at the same time. You don’t have to hide either side. Remember, the night sky is eerily desolate and also full of everything all at once.” ~Victoria Erickson

Even the most difficult times of our lives also contain beauty in other ways. It’s ok to find joy in that beauty even as you mourn or struggle in other areas.

 

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The secret history of our enemies

The secret history of our enemies

“If we could read the secret history of our enemies, we should find in each man’s life sorrow and suffering enough to disarm all hostility.” ~Henry Wadsworth Longfellow

It’s so easy to judge each other from what we see on the outside. We forget that their difficult words and actions are likely driven by the pain and trauma of their history. If we could see the pain hidden beneath the surface of every person we encountered, it would re-frame our judgment of them entirely.

 

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Joy is the transformation of our suffering

Joy is the transformation of our suffering

“Joy is the transformation of our suffering, not the escape of all we have to face.” ~Mark Nepo

I tend to (subconsciously) think of joy as being the absence of suffering, which makes it hard to come by. Joy as a transformation of suffering opens so many more opportunities to step into joy because there’s always plenty of suffering to be transformed.

 

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Don’t wait to be happy

Don't wait to be happy

“The seed of suffering in you may be strong, but don’t wait until you have no more suffering before allowing yourself to be happy.” ~Thich Nhat Hanh

Just because we are hurting doesn’t mean there aren’t opportunities for moments of happiness all around us. One does not need to exclude the other. Allow yourself to be happy when those moments come, even if your suffering is not over.

 

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Awe stretches the heart

Awe stretches the heart

“When suffering constricts the heart, awe stretches it back out, making us more compassionate, more loving, more present.” ~Valarie Kaur

I love this image of awe restoring a constricted heart! How often do you allow yourself to truly experience awe as an adult? Perhaps we would all be well served by seeking it out and immersing ourselves in awe more often.

 

Image created with a stock photo from a Canva subscription package.