Courage



Do you have the courage to really see what you are seeing?
Can you stand still long enough to see through the confusion and notice that in death there is birth? That in chaos there are patterns of beauty?
Do you believe that in the short run when something seems so important, that it really isn't, but in the long run everything has meaning and importance?
Can you stand and tremble in fear without turning away, as you contemplate the vast beauty of pain, loss, and love?
Do you see the beautiful simplicity and complexity of all that is?
Can you let it hurt until you love?

Do not say that I'll depart tomorrow
because even today I still arrive.

Look deeply: I arrive in every second 
to be a bud on a spring branch, 
to be a tiny bird, with wings still fragile, 
learning to sing in my new nest, 
to be a caterpillar in the heart of a flower, 
to be a jewel hiding itself in a stone.

I still arrive, in order to laugh and to cry, 
in order to fear and to hope. 
The rhythm of my heart is the birth and 
death of all that are alive.

I am the mayfly metamorphosing on the surface of the river,
and I am the bird which, when spring comes, arrives in time 
to eat the mayfly.

I am the frog swimming happily in the clear pond, 
and I am also the grass-snake who, approaching in silence, 
feeds itself on the frog.

I am the child in Uganda, all skin and bones, 
my legs as thin as bamboo sticks, 
and I am the arms merchant, selling deadly weapons to 
Uganda.

I am the twelve-year-old girl, refugee on a small boat,
who throws herself into the ocean after being raped by a sea
pirate,
and I am the pirate, my heart not yet capable of seeing and
loving.

I am a member of the politburo, with plenty of power in my
hands,
and I am the man who has to pay his "debt of blood" to, my
people,
dying slowly in a forced labor camp.

My joy is like spring, so warm it makes flowers bloom in all
walks of life.
My pain is like a river of tears, so full it fills the four oceans.

Please call me by my true names, 
so I can hear all my cries and laughs at once, 
so I can see that my joy and pain are one.

Please call me by my true names, 
so I can wake up, 
and so the door of my heart can be left open, 
the door of compassion.

Thich Nhat Hanh

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