Holding back

Our attempts to hold back from the difficulty of our lives, paradoxically, bring us exactly what we are trying to avoid.

Why? Because suffering, confusion, feeling lost – as well as joy, and fulfilment, and meaning – are an inevitable part of any life. How could it be otherwise? Life promises only that it will bring us change. And it does this, even when we wish it were not so, endlessly.

Our attempts to deny our anxiety, fear and loss are attempts to control what cannot be controlled. They end up with us holding back life itself.

And in this way, perhaps we could learn to see our difficulties as an invitation to step deeper into our lives, rather than turn away.

I came across this, from Franz Kafka, recently, which says it beautifully:

“You can hold yourself back from the sufferings of the world. That is something you are free to do and it accords with your nature. But perhaps this very holding back is the one suffering you could avoid.”

Photo Credit: Thomas Leuthard via Compfight cc

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