As we enter these darker cooler months of the holidays, it’s easy to get caught in the flurry of consumption. Desire sneaks up and worms its way into our thoughts and informs our actions - sometimes beautiful wholesome thoughts of caring for ourselves and others with warmth, tenderness, and generosity, and sometimes unrelenting thoughts of needing more, or for many of us, intensely wanting things to be other than they are. This is suffering.
Have you ever noticed just how hard we work to get what we want, how much we struggle when we get what we don’t want, and when we do get what we want, how the next desire is right there on its heals? This is also suffering.
One day one of my teachers said, “Remember, struggle is extra.” It was an eye-opening moment. It doesn’t mean we give up working hard for what we deeply care about. It means to keep going, but with a looser grip. As you go into this holiday season, enjoy yourself. Take some time to breathe, read a paperbound book, go for a walk, look up at the night sky.