The birthday was a joyous occasion with many toasts and much laughter. An eighty-year-old much loved for her light heartedness and wisdom was asked, “How does life look to you on your eightieth birthday?” She rose to her feet, raised her glass in a toast and replied, “Well, as I see it, first we’re born…” she paused reflectively. And then with great conviction she declared, “and from then on, it’s tricky all the way.” There were waves of laughter as everyone took in her delightful statement.
From the first shock of birth we inevitably meet pain as well as pleasure. The going can get so tough at times that we understand the Taoist sage who once said, “Those who celebrate at birth and mourn at death may have it all backward.” When we come to those things that break us down, however, we touch those things that also break us open. They can actually become a bridge to a deeper and richer life.
A seed buried under autumn leaves becomes a sprout in the spring, has fragrant flowers in summer and in autumn takes on a new beauty, its pods full of seeds for next year’s growth. Natural cycles of transformation are all around us. Our life, too, evolves in a series of stages. As we become more awakened, we become ever more attuned to the pulsation that gives rise to all growth and change.
From one perspective there may be suffering; from another there is simply a deeper understanding. Much of our growth in awareness is about expanding and maturing our perspectives.
The seeds of wisdom, peace, and wholeness are within the “tricky parts” and our awakening is possible in every activity. When we truly sense this truth, our life becomes not a struggle with success and failure but a dance of the heart.