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Life is Beautiful

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Life is Beautiful, If We Show Up for It

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Life is an extraordinary adventure in consciousness. Life only becomes ugly when we fail to engage with it, to reckon with the challenges life presents us daily. Sometimes we shirk, we cringe, we fear, we worry, we deny, we crave distraction and chase after it, seeking relief that proves only temporary. Seeing that life is beautiful only happens once we agree to engage fully with whatever situation comes to us. We need to "show up" for our own very individual life and be willing to stay awake for it!

Often we may have that feeling that there must be something wrong with what's happening to us when, in truth, it's just as it has to be. Life is unerring in it's ability to create circumstances perfectly tailored for each one of us, in all their glory and horror, to realize those lessons we need to learn. My Guru, Swami Kripaluanand used to say, "What we fail to understand through grace, we will have to learn through disgrace." To learn a lesson at the level of grace, means accepting what is happening right now and rising to meet that situation, however challenging. Yet notice that within the word 'disgrace' hides the word 'grace' - even in disgrace, grace is hiding. In fact, grace is always here with us. It is not grace that comes and goes, it is we who play hide and seek with it. Just because one doesn't feel it, doesn't mean it isn't there. Grace is an inherent quality of Brahman, the pure, ever-present benevolent Consciousness that underlies all existence.

If we are in denial of what is happening in our life and thus avoid meeting the challenges, we stall and whimper further towards unreality and despair instead of opening to a deeper truth. Say for instance, one is in denial of the fact that one's parents are getting older and need more care. Not only will they not receive the care they need, neither will we receive the lessons of deep abiding love offered in that sometimes excruciating exchange and we miss the satisfaction and blessing that comes from offering our best, however flawed. Life does not expect us to be perfect at what we're called to do - it just invites us to show up. Hidden within challenging circumstances lies an experience of life so much more deeply lived. Through them, soul gains a richness and maturity. "Sweet are the uses of adversity," says the Bhagavatam. So brief the candle of life burns and brief our time together. Let's live to the full whatever life sends our way and reap the harvest of self awareness and love that we may miss if we are in avoidance. When we agree to surrender unconditionally to what is, we can begin to enjoy the extraordinary poignancy and beauty of this magnificent ephemeral existence.

© 2008 Divya Prabha
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