We want that and don't want to give up this to get it. "You can't have your cake and eat it, too," gets to the heart of the matter. The only way out of the morass is bearing the pain. How well--how consciously--how deliberately-- how consistently--how utterly and completely-- we bear the pain of being alive and living constantly between the two poles: "I want to have my cake!" "I want to eat my cake now!" Tells the tale. When Col. Nathan R. Jessup said (In the movie, "A Few Good Men,") "YOU CAN'T HANDLE THE TRUTH!!!" he was talking about the truth, "You can't have your cake and eat it, too!" All of our problems come down to wanting to have our cake and eat it, too. Come down to having to give up this to get that. God Damn It! We just want everything at the same time! My sister Susan killed herself by starving herself to death in Hospice care because living meant living on life's terms, and her terms were the only terms she would accept. Doing it her way meant doing it this way now, and that way in five minutes, and that way five minutes later, and no one could live with her because her way was always changing in light of whatever she wanted now, no, now, no, now... Vladimir Putin wants everyone to adore him on his terms. Norma Jeane Mortenson killed herself because what she wanted interfered with something else she wanted, and she couldn't bear the pain of not having what she wanted for the sake of something else she wanted. The lesson in all of this is: We have to bear the pain! We have to bear the pain of the truth we can't handle! How well we live hinges on how well we bear the pain of our opposites, of our contradictions, of wanting this without giving up that. Life becomes a lesson in pain management. The people who live well, bear their pain well. The Sisyphean Task is bearing the pain of being alive. Of negotiating our way between Scilla and Charybdis. Between wanting this and having to have that. Sit down with what's killing you, and come to terms with the pain you are carrying. What is the nature of your pain? What is the source of your pain? What is life requiring of you that you do not want to relinquish? What will handling the truth mean for you and the way you are living your life? This is a conversation that living well requires of us over the full course of our life. We constantly bear the pain of not being able to have our cake and eat it, too. Broaden the conversation to include your best friends. Tell them about your cake and ask them about theirs. Make it a regular part of your relationship. "How's it going with you and your cake?" It is called consciously bearing the pain of being alive. The only way I know of handling the truth is to handle it consciously with those we trust to know us well.
One thought on “September 30-B, 2022”
Damn it, indeed, but those maple leaves dying so gorgeously makes the truth a bit more bearable. What a life blesson!
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