Last month, I lost both my beloved animal companions within weeks from each other. It was not easy, yet I chose not to take a single day off. Perhaps it was because I just wanted to distract myself, to move forward, but the last few days my sorrow has been catching up on me. I felt tired physically and emotionally. I thought that I just wanted this suffering to be over. I wanted to be done with it. I wanted to be through with the difficulty of these loses.
I picked up this book called The Dance of Wounded Souls, and there the writer suggested that instead of thinking of this life as a series of punishments, we think of this life as the experience of a soul taking on a human form. And that reminded me of the mantra from Yajur Veda and the Isha Upanishad:
Om purnam adah purnam idam
purnat purnam udachyate
purnasya purnam adaya
The word purnam means whole. And I started to think of how my perspective would change if I see events in my life as part of a whole instead of isolated and fragmented components. If this life were whole, then in its wholeness it has space for both love and loss, life and death, joy and sorrow, despair and hope, effort and grace, beginnings and endings. If this experience were whole, then the pain of my losses would just be a part of the big picture, the big picture being the opportunity to love and connect and share, the moments of warmth and laughter and tenderness.
It is easy to forget the transient nature of this human experience, how life flows like a river, how things are impermanent not despite this life being whole but because this life is whole. If we want to offer a little lightness to this existence, a little softness around our hardships, a little kindness to our ailing hearts, then we must remember "purnam", this wholeness that allows us to be here as we are, whether this moment is light or dark, whether we are filled with love or plagued with loss, whether the chapter in this story is unfolding in its beginning, middle, or ending.