Sweet Adversity

Find a place inside where there’s joy, and the joy will burn out the pain.
Joseph Campbell

This is what I did the day before surgery. I curled up in bed, wishing for the impossible–that I didn’t have to surrender my body to the scalpel, that I could avoid pain, and I didn’t have to start on this path to healing. For a while, I let my mind spool through the useless cycle of “why me?” and “what did I do to deserve this?” And then, I decided to get out of bed and find joy. I still had many hours left in the day. How should I fill the hours? What would make me happy? Perhaps I could “store away” these moments of happiness and think of them in the days ahead.

Here’s what I did:

Eating Tom Yum soup at Chili Duck
Eating Tom Yum soup at Chili Duck
Walking up the main staircase at the Boston Public Library
Walking up the main staircase at the Boston Public Library
Visiting Sacco and Vinzetti at the Rare Books and Manuscripts Archive
Visiting Sacco and Vanzetti at the Rare Books and Manuscripts Archive
Sitting in the sun in Copley Square
Sitting in the sun in Copley Square
Enjoying a slice of chocolate cake at Papa Razzi, Newbury Street
Enjoying a slice of chocolate cake at Papa Razzi, Newbury Street

Guess what?  It worked.

I invite you to share moments of inspiration, joy, and insight that came to you during difficult times.  In the weeks and months ahead I will post these “flashes” as I embark on a quest for healing.  This may seem contradictory–to find happiness in adversity, but I believe that in moments of darkness we can find wisdom, understanding and opportunities for growth, which can give us great joy.   William Shakespeare says it best:

“Sweet are the uses of adversity which, like the toad, ugly and venomous, wears yet a precious jewel in his head.”–William Shakespeare

 

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11 replies »

  1. I love the Campbell quote and of course, chocolate cake posesses magical powers to heal the sick and turn common flour into ambrosia for the gods, and then you added the soup for good measure, hopefully in this order. Of course this worked. It was a perfect plan.

    Like

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