I have that awful virus that’s making the rounds in my area. Starts as a headache, progresses through cold symptoms, and ends in light-headedness and nausea. Sounds like fun, right?
To me, it seems like the seeds of compassion.
I think this world is a never-ending process of softening and rounding our rough edges, of breaking and reforming us until we learn to love. Not that romantic love– that’s the easy type. Not the friend love, either. I’m talking about the hard stuff: The love that comes from suffering through poor choices, illness, and injury. From soul-crushing defeats and horrible bosses. From losing everything, regaining it, and losing it all again.
That’s the love that we need to learn. It’s the heart of all other types of love. I envision it as a sort of kintsugi, a Japanese art form in which broken pottery is repaired using gold-infused lacquer. It makes the pottery beautiful where it was once broken. It also makes the pottery stronger.
Each injury, illness, setback, or otherwise awful thing that happens to us leads to another opportunity to be repaired into something more beautiful and stronger than it was previously. At the end of our lives, being perfect and in the same pristine condition in which we were born is a sign of life unlined. Although I despise being ill (permanently so, in my case), I try to remember that each broken part makes me more lovely. It also gives me a chance to learn more compassion for those in my world. This compassio, if nurtured and allowed to grow, becomes love.
Love is what it’s all about, right?