Some people are unable to leave their painful past behind, to live freely and at ease among the wonders of life in the present. The moon and stars are glowing brightly, the mountains and streams are delightful, the four seasons reveal themselves to us by turns; but some never get in touch with any of that. They feel more comfortable hanging around the cellar of their painful memories.
Liberation means, first of all, breaking out of the prison of our past. We need to summon the courage to pull ourselves back up out of the rut of our old, familiar habits and comforts. These things don’t really bring us happiness; but we’ve gotten so used to them, we think we can’t let them go.
Why must we, as the Vietnamese expression goes, always come back to swim in the same old pond, even though it’s mucky, simply because it’s ‘ours’? Why deprive ourselves of the crystal clear lake, of the refreshing blue sea with a beach stretching all the way to a new horizon? The joys of life are no less ‘ours’….
(Thich Nhat Hanh)