Ironically, I guess, I got a laugh today out of my reading from Pema Chodron’s When Things Fall Apart. She notes that when things fall apart, one tendency is to try to recreate ourselves. That is, rather than settle in with the conflict and try to learn something about ourselves in the struggle, we decide to recreate ourselves “as if we were Michelangelo chiseling ourselves out of marble.” Chodron incites the laugh with the observation that: “Just as we are on the verge of really understanding something, allowing our heart to truly open, just as we have the opportunity to see clearly, we put on [Groucho Marx glasses] with fluffy eyebrows and a big nose.”
Indeed, in a world filled with the commercially driven theme that a “new you” (whether Groucho Marx glasses, a new hair color, car, vacation, new exercise equipment…) is only a keyboard, credit card, and same day Amazon delivery away, creating a whole new you seems temptingly so much easier than taking time to sit down with the “old you” for a while, taking stock of where things are, and contemplating just what lesson this struggle has to offer. And conveniently, I can then blame the struggle on the prior absence of that _____ in my life – that is, until the next struggle.
So just where can I get those Groucho Marx glasses?