Saturday, January 17, 2015

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I've been really struck, lately, with the fragility of life.  People die, relationships fall apart.  People are betrayed, things get broken, life can be such a struggle sometimes.  And, for a person like me, it sometimes seems like too much.

Don't hate the people who hurt you and the ones you love and make your life more difficult.  I don't mean pretend that they don't do any damage.  I don't mean minimize what they do.  There are some truly selfish, clueless, deceitful people in this world.  What I mean is that allowing their actions to pull you down into the cesspool of hatred, bitterness, and stress has a cost.  It takes a great toll on you, and I guarantee that if you knew that today was your last day on earth you wouldn't want a speck of that time or a single drop of your energy wasted on trying to beat them, stop them, silence them, punish them, or keep them from fulfilling their evil master plans.  Let them have it.  It won't make them happy.  You would want every bit of that time and energy spent on the things that matter.  You would want to laugh.  You would want to cry.  You would want to spend it with the people who matter rather than churning your gut over the people who don't.

Don't be so stressed out about things that don't matter.  We have too many cares, or we simply don't care enough about the right things.  We worry about what someone will think.  So, we carry the heavy burden of worry when we feel we have disappointed them.  We live in fear of how selfish people will respond, knowing that they have caused us pain and anguish before.  So, though we vowed to do otherwise, we live always looking over our shoulder, always being careful about what we do, always trying to protect ourselves, manage outcomes, and keep what is "ours."  While there is always room for reasonable caution, has it dawned on us that there are no guarantees in anything?  There are none.  Everything that we think we are keeping grasp of with our tense fists and sleepless nights can be gone in a moment.  And could it be that the good things and good people we have for the moment are gifts to be enjoyed, not museum pieces to be hoarded and kept?  They are things and people that are entrusted to us for a short time.  But everything feels so ultimate, so dramatic, so urgent because we have bought into the idea that everything depends on us, and in buying into that idea we have sold our innocence and our ability to enjoy and be grateful.  We have bought into the delusion of our own self-importance, but at the cost of our child-like ability to experience wonder, joy, and faith.  We have forgotten what it means to be carefree, making excuses for ourselves that we "can't" because we won't.   Certainly, we ought to try our best to do our best, but we need to laugh more, make room for the imperfect, give people room to grow and breathe, and leave the outcomes in God's hands... truly.  It really doesn't all hang on our shoulders, and thank God for that.  For, as much as we might like to think so, we are no saviors.  We don't trust God because bad things have happened, so we think we must be God.  We burden ourselves with the impossible task of holding life together.  We buy the lie, and every time something bad happens, we buy into it more.  But perhaps those bad things happen to remind us of this very fact:  that life is fragile and our worried, hasty, over-thinking hands don't really hold it together at all; they just make us numb to enjoying what we actually have and angry when our attempts to hold it together once again prove to be futile.  We curse the skies, not realizing that the fragility of life is not meant to teach us to hold onto things more tightly but to remind us to cherish and laugh and love, saving our heart for the best and simplest of things.