Postpone death by living


“I postpone death by living, by suffering, by error, by risking, by giving, by losing.” – Anaïs Nin.

I just read someone else’s blog which got me to think of the quote of Nin; and somebody else’s blog that got me to think of my childhood. From my childhood I have learned to insulate myself from hurt, from feelings things too deeply, from any pain. What got me to change was somebody compared me to Kurt Russell in the movie Soldier. I learned two things from the comparison: it is very hard to really see ourselves as we are really seen by others, and once realized to change.

I likened myself to a walnut with hard exterior, but if you get to know me, soft interior. My grandmother used to say, in response to my statement, “Your hands are so cold,” cold hands warm heart. Indeed she had a warm heart. The friend who compared me to the movie character was hurting, not needing a cold friend, even if he might have a warm heart in there somewhere. This was my wake up call to change. I didn’t change then but gradually over the years through G-d’s help. (I am a Christian but like the Jewish tradition of some to write G-d without a letter).

Now it can be painful- very painful- to risk, to lose, to give and not get back, to try but find yourself having made a mistake. It is to suffer.

Some quotes on suffering:

“We have the tendency to run away from suffering and to look for happiness. But, in fact, if you have not suffered, you have no chance to experience real happiness.” Thich Nhat Hanh

“You can hold yourself back from the sufferings of the world, that is something you are free to do and it accords with your nature, but perhaps this very holding back is the one suffering you could avoid.” Franz Kafka

“Who will tell whether one happy moment of love or the joy of breathing or walking on a bright morning and smelling the fresh air, is not worth all the suffering and effort which life implies.” Erich Fromm

I have friends who would never think of risking anything, being hurt is too hard a choice to make. What I like about the WordPress universe is people are willing to risk being hurt by putting something out there for others to read. There is nothing I have read of anyone’s blogs that has not helped me in some way. So I encourage others to keep writing. Everyone has a unique way of looking at the world and I am enriched by every single person of whose blog I have read.