Enjoying the comic episodes of life more could actually save our lives: bearing us courageously over the inevitable rough seas of disappointment, doubt, and despair. A good laugh tells our cells there is hope somewhere on the horizon, somewhere in this mysterious, whacked-out world.
It also makes us less of a drag to be around.
Want more hope? Want more companions?
Smile at the absurd.
This quote is not for the faint of heart, the young crusader, or the know-it all. I was all three when I argued on the black and white side. Similar to author Jeannette Walls, I graduated to gray after failing to force an ambiguous, mixed-up world into a tidy black and white box. Good people did screwed up things. Bad people did good things. Bad things turned out good. “Good things” turned out not so good.
No one managed to have a tight rein on truth.
Jeannette Wall’s parents (as chronicled in The Glass Castle) often let her go hungry. Despite this fact, she knew they loved her. Their behaviors took “dysfunctional” to a whole new level, yet their whacked-out worldview toughened and trained her voice to speak for millions.
In an elevator, I noticed light flashing randomly over the walls and ceiling. Looking for the source, I found it to be my watch band, reflecting wildly from slight movements of my hand. Something so small making all this beauty.
Of course I have seen it before
this reflective wonder
That I often ignore
But today I think of my own light
(and nothing is as small as it seems)
I feel my own power
Pulsing around me unseen
As wireless signals reach my phone
I chill to the knowledge
“I am not alone”
Ttransmitting energy everywhere
Now feeling electricity
In my fingertips and hair
Sensing the calling
The calling to shine
The calling to trust
(the magnified reflection) of my tiny and unlikely shine
Sometimes I complain too much about the difficult things life requires me to do. If I am smart, I will see what others can easily see; I need the re-construction, remodel, and renovation that occurs when I am doing a work of love for others, even if I can’t see a positive outcome.
Acknowledging the mystery of this often prevents me from tearing down valuable work with my own hands.
Right before my sister’s body convulsed in the terrible grip of death, I received a gift from her learning-challenged son. He had been with me at her hospice bedside saying goodbye. After asking his mother to say hello to Elvis for him in heaven (which even garnered a wisp of a smile from her solemn, sedated face), he gave me his mother’s hand and said, “She’s gone. God took her with Him. Couldn’t you feel God here in the room?”
His confidence that she was no longer in that body has saved me from reliving the strange savagery of her end…over and over again.
I was reminded of this mystery of our souls’ departure by Temple Grandin’s story of Autism and her sensitivity to the death of animals. When the body of a euthanized horse collapsed, limp and empty, she asked about the spirit, “Where did it go?”
Also in Elizabeth J. Church’s words about the heroin’s father’s death in The Atomic Weight of Love: “Where did all of that energy go? What happened to the bounty of his being, his love for us, for me?”
It’s an important observance and question. Those who see a bit differently often see more than the rest of us.
What I am not alive for…
- To feed and entertain this body so that I can do it again tomorrow and the next day
- To make life difficult for someone else
- To be the judge of what someone else is doing
If I woke up this morning, it’s because there is something for me to…
When we don’t know what our purpose is, passionately setting out to learn as much as possible, to love as much as we can, and to do all the good we are capable of is the fastest way to find out!
“Becoming a charming creature is to be one who is charmed by your own life and the lives of all whom you meet.” – Blair Lewis
Charm is a powerful thing, sometimes misused, but to use it beneficially and to charm the right people into our lives, believing this quote is the only effective starting place.
Breaking it down, it’s merely about delight and appreciation. When we have sincere, agenda-less, (no strings attached) appreciation and delight in someone, they’ll find us difficult to resist. Unfortunately, most of us are too busy sorting our own drama to actually delight in someone else. Once we do, and have unconditionally accepted ourselves, our history, and our circumstances, suddenly we have time and energy to find others charming! Then, Voila! Life changes.
No way around it.
No pay no play.
It seems as if the Universe must also “Z” out and keep the books balanced as it goes.
Action and reaction.
Cause and effect.
Effort and results.
Giving and receiving.
As with pay now or pay later, there is a predictable pattern behind them all.
Although, sometimes it feels as if we aren’t getting a fair return or that we have already paid our dues!
Additional considerations for these cases:
- the greater our mission, the greater our preparation
- the Universe is working behind the scenes to adjust our trajectory
- there are surprises to come
Not long ago, I found myself wishing an unpleasant experience would just hurry up and be over.
Then I caught myself.
I was trading that moment, as if it didn’t count, for the future.
No wonder I was so miserable! I had told myself that there was no value in the current moment, that it just had to be endured.
I corrected my thoughts to ask, instead, “How can I use this moment to learn something, give something, or make a difference?” Then, things changed. They still weren’t easy, but they were much more bearable, and, just like that, I had found a way to make an investment in myself and others.
Hope and glory weren’t somewhere in the future. They had been with me all along.
I woke up this morning wondering what would happen if, on our birthdays, our mothers, fathers, and caregivers always reminded us of these things:
- You have arrived on this planet as a mysterious gift.
- You will only be here a very short time.
- Your mission is to honor the miracle of your creation and all the miracles around you…
- by loving
- by creating more joy
- and by finding something you absolutely love to do and doing it with all your heart
- It will be extremely difficult at times. This is only to help you discover the power you have been given.
- Remembering these things will always bring you strength and joy.