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Coming to terms with my human fragility

July 1st, 2013

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I took the picture you see below, as I was walking through a beautiful wooded path leading to a lake, just minutes before I suffered from a heart attack on Friday June 21st. The whole thing still seems surreal to me, and in the aftermath, I am reflecting a lot about the meaning of it all.

woodpath

There are few times in life when everything seems to tip over, when we feel we are hanging from a very thin thread and that a subtle blow could throw us into the dark. I have had those moments, but never related to my health and my own human existence in this planet, until now.

I have faced my own human fragility for the first time, I have been reminded of the impermanence of my life, and even though deep inside I knew of it, it has become more real, more tangible, more present. I believe one of the lessons of this experience is precisely to remind me that every day in this earth is a gift.

I could feel angry or revolted by this whole thing, not only because it happened at a time when I felt so incredibly happy, healthy, alive and joyful, but also because I did not fit the profile for a heat-attack patient at all, as every Doctor I came in contact with told me, I was a total mystery to them. However, to my surprise, I am embracing this whole process with a lot of peace, I feel calm, content, pretty good in fact...

I still have to find the reason behind this event, not so much the causes of it, but rather the hidden message behind it, as I believe that the lesson from this experience should somehow guide me for the remaining of my journey in this earth, or at least give me some clarity on the steps to take going forward at this time.

The week prior to having the heart attack, I was just reflecting on the nature of our life, the infinite cycle of "ups and downs", of hope and despair, happiness and sorrow, fear and trust, darkness and light, etc.
I like the concept of Yin and Yang from Chinese Philosophy, which states that opposite or contrary forces are interconnected and interdependent in the natural world; and they give rise to each other as they interrelate to one another.

If we look at it this way, we can understand that there can't be "ups" without "downs", that we have to accept this cycle and flow along with it in peace, knowing that after the darkness there is light, and after despair there is hope, and that after the tears there is laughter... it all comes... and goes...
This continuum is what makes up our human experience and we need to embrace both ends as one, since there is not one without the other, there is no sense in trying to separate them.

If we accept life as this infinite cycle of ups and downs, we are closer to finding true balance and peace, as we stop resisting the events that we consider negative, for we see them as the prelude to positive ones and we can flow with more ease between them.

So today, in my human fragility I also see my strength, and within my limits I also see my infinite potential. I have a new kind of hope, and a new awareness that makes me even more alive than I was before, and I definitely feel that life is beautiful with all it brings to us, and we are beautiful with all our flaws.

Have a good week!

 

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