Yesterday, I had a conversation at an Indian restaurant with two women in which I said, surprising myself, that “I think descent is my speciality.” Meaning that most people focus on getting ahead, while I like to appreciate the riches we uncover when we go deep and within, to absorb and integrate loss of any kind.
I first discovered this proclivity when my husband died, and wrote about it here. When my wonderful little dog, Emma, was killed in a car accident last summer, I ended up mining grief again (search “Emma” on this site, in a number of posts). Also last summer, when our neighborhood GANG garden needed to work with a seeming failure and conflict with a person in the neighborhood, once again I discovered this difficulty as harboring immense riches. Once I recognized my “opponent” as my mirror my imagination was freed up to create a communal Ceremony of Impermanence (see, for example, this and this).
Here’s Buddhist Pema Chodron, whose views and attitude I find utterly simpatico.