When You’re Sick, Be a Sick Person
by Brenda Shoshanna – New York City

Girl sick in bed

We all strive to be better and better to live up to an ideal or image of how we should be, or what we want in the moment. When conditions change, and we cannot achieve our goals, we fight what is present. We reject the condition, demand things go our way.

Not only do we start fighting a difficult condition, but when we cannot be as we thought we “should” be, we very often fight and reject ourselves as well. We haven’t met the standards we’ve set and decide we are unacceptable. We do this to others as well.

This rejection, of course, only makes everything more painful.

A wonderful quote by Joko Beck reminds us that “A joyful life is just what is happening right now, minus our opinions about it.”

The heart of a joyful life is being what we are fully moment-by-moment, no matter how we wanted things to turn out. Not only accepting what is happening, but honoring it and enjoying it thoroughly.

And, then, of course, a new condition will appear easily by itself. In this way we allow our lives to flower and bloom organically, not push ourselves into a preset mold.

When you are sick, (or upset, discouraged, whatever), don’t pretend you feel something else. Simply be a sick person. Don’t put a “happy face” on, or create a false self.

Without complaining, simply accept the moment, and condition as it is. Be it fully. Stop hating and judging the moment and yourself. The more you can do this, the sooner things will change and evolve and the more joyful your life will become, as moment-by-moment naturally unfolds.

    Brenda Eshin Shoshanna
(212) 288-0028

Each week I take a new look at daily issues and problems. When looked at from the Zen point of view, these problems turn into koans. Not only do we then find unexpected solutions, but become able to thoroughly enjoy our lives. And our problems.

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