Surprised by Joy

“People have a hard time letting go of their suffering.

Out of fear of the unknown,

they prefer suffering that is familiar.” Thich Nhat Hanh

Sometimes we think that what we know

is all there is.

The ways that our families treated us, or our classmates,

or intimate partners, those

become the templates with which we see the world.

Even though old patterns can be extremely painful,

letting go of them often causes even greater anxiety.

And the anxiety of the suffering that I know,

seems to be safer, more predictable,

maybe even controllable…

Why is it so hard to let go?

Letting go requires trusting that the universe

always wants to heal, grow and renew

every organism it created.

Letting go is an exercise in

releasing known suffering

and allowing new and unknown

waves of experiences and feelings,

and be surprised by joy…

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