the joy and sadness of living as love

There’s an old story about a donkey equally between its hay and water, and unable to make a decision, stays stuck in the moment and dies equally from hunger and thirst. I don’t want to stay stuck like that.

Man improves himself as he follows his path; if he stands still, waiting to improve before he makes a decision, he’ll never move. — Paulo Coelho

I get stuck sometimes. I’ll be enjoying this Present Moment, this Wonderful Moment, this Now, as Thich Nhat Hanh, Ram DassEckhart Tolle, and Pema Chodron suggest, and the richness of the moments can get me stuck. I find myself charmed and further attached.

Faster, faster, faster. Until the thrill of speed overcomes the fear of death. — Hunter S. Thompson

Slowing makes the world somehow faster. Slowing down and fully noticing the moment, things around me often feel faster. It’s as if I had slowed down my car, rolled down the window, and lowered my head down toward the ground. With my eyes closer to the pavement, even a slow moving car feels fast. In truth, the car’s actually moving slower, and yet everything seems to be coming at me faster.

I’ve been exploring the balance between action and inaction, activity and inactivity, and the quality of moments compared with their quantity.

One thing’s for certain, it doesn’t work for me to stand still, or dwell in the past, or act in some imagined future.

As they say in Texas, the only thing in the middle of the road is a yellow line and a dead armadillo. — Anonymous

Maybe at issue is the duality of doing more versus doing less. Checking into my own experience, I’ve been seeing how – for me – it’s not about having a lot or a little, it’s whether having any particular thing or experience makes a difference. It’s not about having lots of lovely, rollicking, hedonistic sense pleasure – I know how to do that. It’s also not about withdrawing like a monk, withdrawing the sense radios as Paramahansa Yogananda describes it.

Slowing down and checking into my own past, I see I’ve been learning what doesn’t work, which is something anyway.

In a world of noise, confusion and conflict it is necessary that there be places of silence, inner discipline and peace. In such places love can blossom. — Thomas Merton

Yesterday, I came across this passage in the book Blue Truth by David Deida.

You are not here to transform the world and create love on earth. In truth, you aren’t here. Here is in you. You are openness. Abide as openness, live as love, and appear as limits. You really have no choice. — David Deida

This almost seemed like heresy to me, since creating love is important to me. I see how he’s turning the tables and focusing on love living me, not the other way around. This passage is in a chapter entitled “Open While Failing – No matter how hard you try, your potential gifts are greater than what you actually give in your life.”

Reading this chapter brought up a lot of sadness for me, as it reminds me to live in acceptance of not quite making it, of the inability to achieve the ideal. Yeah, I’ve heard the words, like when Thich Nhat Hahn talks about walking toward the moon being different than actually walking to the moon. Still, acceptance is saddening. I’d like to accomplish more in the limited time I have here.


Modern man has the skill, he can do as he will. But, alas, being man, he will do what he can. — Piet Hein

Sitting with acceptance, I’m feeling encouraged, lightened, and sad, all at the same time.

How is it for you?

11 thoughts on “the joy and sadness of living as love

  1. HI Vince
    I get it. I have felt this sadness too. It is a continual process to learn to accept that we are all one, and therefore, wanting to shine in any area…even love…sets us above this Oneness.

  2. Vincent, you are asking all the right questions. “Still, acceptance is saddening. I’d like to accomplish more in the limited time I have here.” What you have written and shared with us is awesome. You are being acceptance…and can do so with more lightness when you know what is “saddening” about acceptance. There is likely a belief that you are holding…which is holding you. 🙂 Acceptance of what is, is freedom. We cannot change what is. Thinking we can is the beginning of suffering. Love, peace, acceptance is a way of being. We are human beings…not human doings, after all. “If you knew who walked beside you at all times, on the path that you have chosen, you could never experience fear or doubt again.” – Dr. Wayne Dyer. When I feel lost, I remember this. 😉

  3. It sounds as if you’re working around what Buddhists call The Middle Way Vincent. You’re eschewing extremes, which themselves always carry a downside, and yet the orientation towards goals remains within you. I personally don’t think you should be discouraged by the tinge of melancholia that surrounds your present state; it is, after all, quite natural a feeling once we move away from the habituated familiar and that which we had formerly invested so much in. So I would say go gently, with patience, in the way that you are; it may not be dramatic, yet there’s no need to concern yourself with that. And remember, the infinite lies within every moment.


  4. Love this inner dialogue Vincent. Thank you for sharing here.
    Coming to a place of acceptance of what is … is powerful. Yet requires work and skill.
    Keep journalling and being with yourself in this place of discomfort, challenge and inner struggle.
    There is more that a lesson here for you to uncover.
    Val xo

  5. Dear Hariod,
    Thank you so much for your kindness and perception. Indeed, change can be unsettling, yet change and I are deepening our friendship and respect. Gently forward it is…


  6. Dear Val,

    Yes, I feel that struggle you mention and am gratefully observing that acceptance comes more easily with continued practice.



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