is that it makes us feel we have to be POSITIVE all the time and that it should be easy to do, very easy, and that there is something wrong with us if we can’t maintain a level of positivity. And it has a very narrow definition of positivity and ignores the fact that there is no positivity without negativity. There are many shades and colors to life and a failure to acknowledge this can cause a lot of stress and unhappiness. Take me, for example. These days I am under enormous stress before leaving for India — separation anxiety because Payson isn’t accompanying me and will come later; from having to prepare for being away from home for seven months; from having a mile long list of things to do before leaving. No reminders to ‘gird my loins’ and do ‘cavalry charge’ help, though they did work then (Ah, the forever shifting world, and us shifting within it). Going to the gym regularly doesn’t seem to help, either. My jaw is clenched from the stress, I have such an edge to my energy that I have to take help of certain helpful herbs and drugs, all of which are marvelous when used, not abused.
There are times when you simply have to accept what IS with no guarantees that the acceptance will alleviate your stress. You simply have to endure, which means to know that what has to be endured will end. I will be sitting on a plane this time next week, and I will take the opportunity to simply return to a more congenial tempo. Endurance without this knowledge can be hell. So it becomes necessary not just to suffer but to know that one is suffering, for this knowledge puts a distance and space around the suffering. There, I am being motivational again. But the thrust and endeavor is to be happy and calm, or at least to suffer less, don’t you think?

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