Monday, 11 April 2011

Both Sides of Life

by: Cheryl Kirking
(Submitted by: Roseby Valencia)

An ancient Greek legend tells the story of a woman who came down to the river styx to be ferried across to the region of departed spirits. Charon, the kind ferryman, reminded her that if she wished, she could first drink the waters of Lethe, which would cause her to forget the life she was leaving.
“Oh, then I can forget all the pain I have suffered,” the woman exclaimed eagerly.
“Yes,” said Charon, “but you will also forget how you have rejoiced.”
The woman said, “And I will forget all my failures,”
“And also your victories,” the ferryman added.
“I will forget how I have been hated,” she continued.
“And,” reminded Charon,
“How you have been loved – and those whom you have loved.”
The woman paused. In the end she decided to leave the waters of Lethe untasted, preferring to retain the memories and sorrow and failure rather than give up the memories of life’s joy and loves. 

To experience life fully, one must be willing to accept the pain as well as the triumph, the sorrow as well as the joy. And it is the experience of the first that allows us to truly appreciate the latter.
Fortunately our minds have the wonderful ability to forget as well as remember. It is wise, then, to store the difficult memories, to keep them where they can be retrieved only as needed and not allow them to overtake our thoughts or encumber us. But the memories of love, beauty and delight – ah, let them dance freely in our minds and hearts.


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