I live with my close friend Lorraine. We live in a light filled 1200 square foot apartment in the heart of Toronto. My bedroom looks out on the city and on a clear day I can see the changing coloured lights of the CN tower. And for 90% of the time, we get along marvellously. But that 10% ?  Arrrggghhh!!!!! My personality is ebullient and expansive. Remember the movie Up, where the old man’s house was carried away by balloons? Well, for the most part, on most days, I am those balloons.  Lorraine , not so much.  Lorraine is contained, logical, often prone to long diatribes on politics and the sad sorry state of the world. She loves Sudoku and crossword puzzles and is one of the smartest people I know. But, her words can sometimes cut like diamonds,  a pinprick to all my lovely balloons. So  when the expansive and the contained bump into each other like Tonka toys the result can be quite painful.  I am trying to pay careful attention to how I speak to Lorraine, asking myself  as I interact with her –  am I on the attack when I really should be more loving, more accepting, more embracing? Is this the  time to be a lover or a warrior? Buddhists talk about the ‘vajra sword’.  This is the sword of wise discernment that helps us know when to surrender and when to stand firm, when to merge and when to prevail. This ‘sword’  reminds me of the Serenity Prayer which goes something like this ‘God, grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change; courage to change the things I can; and the wisdom to know the difference’. In most situations loving surrender is the way to go with Lorraine , but every now and then I look under my bed, and I pull out my old but trusty sword and I go slay that dragon. Roar!

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