“Life will break you. Nobody can protect you from that…” ~ Louise Erdrich

Via Waylon Lewis
on May 15, 2013
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Whether physically or emotionally, or both, no one gets out of life alive.

Life is rough stuff. Recently I’ve been wondering if I’m tough enough. And, luckily, service pulls me forward. Otherwise, I’d drown in hurt, in disappointment, in self-pity. Perhaps you’ve hurt, too. 

Life is full of love—heartbreak. Of laughter—and loneliness. Of casual, under-appreciated joy in community. Of bike rides in the sunshine, hurried and harried busy-making…and moments of just-this, say feet-dipping in the river. It’s a mixed bag of “good” and “bad” days, of true friends and opportunists.

The drama doesn’t matter. We can feel the solid earth beneath us. We can feel the heavens, above. We can feel our raw, ever-wounded heart, joining them together in friendship. We can extend such friendship not to one person—but to all. Whether it is treasured or honored or met or, more likely, not…that’s not our choice, or our responsibility.

Our choice is to continue to give, to be of service, to smile if we have to.

And yes, we have to. And yes, smiling is hard work. This life is not for the faint of heart:

And that’s because bravery isn’t a quality exhibited in easy times. To quote the famous philosophers over at Game of Thrones, bravery is an attribute required precisely when we’d rather chill at home.
Shambhala goes a bit further, of course, than Game of Thrones, into how we get there. Bravery and vulnerability go hand in hand—and both hold hands within the present moment. That’s not pretty spiritual talk: that’s to say that both are joined in practicality, in now, not in philosophy or “pretty spiritual talk.”
And it all ends and starts, in practicing being present: you know, meditation. Every day. Just a bit. Bit by bit.


About Waylon Lewis

Waylon Lewis, founder of elephant magazine, now elephantjournal.com & host of Walk the Talk Show with Waylon Lewis, is a 1st generation American Buddhist “Dharma Brat." Voted #1 in U.S. on twitter for #green two years running, Changemaker & Eco Ambassador by Treehugger, Green Hero by Discovery’s Planet Green, Best (!) Shameless Self-Promoter at Westword's Web Awards, Prominent Buddhist by Shambhala Sun, & 100 Most Influential People in Health & Fitness 2011 by "Greatist", Waylon is a mediocre climber, lazy yogi, 365-day bicycle commuter & best friend to Redford (his rescue hound). His aim: to bring the good news re: "the mindful life" beyond the choir & to all those who didn't know they gave a care. elephantjournal.com | His first book, Things I would like to do with You, is now available.


7 Responses to ““Life will break you. Nobody can protect you from that…” ~ Louise Erdrich”

  1. Judy says:

    Sounds like you are going through a time of change. My heart goes out to you. I hope you don't lose your sense of humor, as times like those can be bleak indeed, especially for someone of such high energy. Take care of yourself, sweet Waylon!

  2. Karen says:

    I needed to read that Louise Erdrich quote today – thank you!

  3. Alex Sandra Myles says:

    My God, I needed this right here, right now…. thank you

  4. Nichole says:

    Perfect timing.
    As we transition from light to dark…
    once again

  5. Lisa Blume says:


  6. Stephanie says:

    Waylon, it's so true. It's an act of bravery to be happy when you would rather fall into a million pieces. It is taken for granted. Happiness is rebellion in a time when we are being crushed at every turn.

  7. moi says:

    um….do you date older women? : )