I try to live with ‘an attitude of gratitude’ but sometimes life just gets in the way. Physical issues with pain and the clear signs of ageing, emotional issues with confronting an unresolved friendship, and spiritual challenges with the dichotomy between life as it is and life as I wish to live it.
The life of a hermit has always appealed to me, but as I don’t have a handy cave I have resorted to the equivalent of closing the front door and burying myself in an endless succession of books.
I have been visited by depression since my teens and over the years have found this to be the most useful, non interventionist, method. I just wait it out, knowing this too will pass, but that quote from that great Sufi teacher Hazrat Inayat Khan reminded me that it is often too easy to slip over into self pity.
That realisation woke me up and drove me outdoors where I saw this wonderful planter that my neighbour had outside his door with bright and cheerful pansies waving their heads at me and saying ‘hey over here, aren’t we lovely?’
Well yes they were, and I realised that while there is beauty in the world, in the words of Hindegard of Bingen – another great spiritual teacher – all will be well.