We want strength. We experience struggle.
We desire Joy. We feel pain.
We think ease. We face hardship.
Life doesn’t always meet our expectations. In fact, I think more often than not, they don’t even overlap.
There’s a gap. What do we do with that gap?
There are probably endless answers. Some of which I’ve definitely tried in the past…
Plan. Perfect. Control. Fight reality in hopes it eventually gives in to your schemes. Hustle with every ounce we got.
Deny the struggle. “I’m fine. It’s fine. It’ll work out. It’s not that big a deal.”
Stay busy.“On to the next thing. No time to think about this.” If I’m too busy I don’t have to deal with the crap-side of life right?
But all these “solutions”, do they really help us? Do they help us heal the hurt in our heart? Do they help us care for the pain that is aching to be embraced until it can cry on the shoulder of someone’s care when life throws a curveball? Do these reactions help the real struggle pass any quicker? Hurt less? Be less of a reality?
I’d have to say no.
Life has a way of throwing us curveballs. Over and over again life doesn’t match expectations and we get thrown into standing at the crossroad of this choice – do I truly live this life OR do I hide this part, deny it, dress it up as something I wish it was but it’s actually not?
Life has dealt a new curveball over the last few weeks. But this time, I’m starting to see maybe there’s a better option. In years past I think I would have tried just about every of one of the above pseudo-solutions until I was near breaking. Because those reactions, although they seem like a good idea, they almost always will leave us more anxious, more upset, more ungrateful and depressed by the life we actually have.
Thanks to God’s working in me, I now I see those tricks of quick-fix lies, avoidance, or sugar-coating don’t serve us as well as leaning in, letting go and letting the crazy waves of life take us for a ride.
Cause the truth is life will hurt. We will have struggle. We will have pain. We will make mistakes and have mistakes made toward us. This world isn’t as it should be.
But the other truth? Life is also beautiful. When we make the choice to accept the chapter we are given, then we can actually live it, love it and start participating in writing how it ends.
It was over the last two weeks when my human heart said “Woah. Don’t accept this. This can’t be your story.” A new gentler voice whispered “Hey, it’s ok. I know it’s scary. But, this is your life. You can live it and make it beautiful. I’ll help you.”
That hit me. This is it. This is the life God has blessed me with. This. Don’t fight it. Live it.
Yes, there are still insanely awful realities in life. But, those realities will happen either way. So we get to make this choice: Live this life and love it with all I got cause it’s mine. Or fight it, wrestle it to the ground, hustle to keep others from seeing the cracks and end up at my last day realizing I never actually owned the one life I was given.
The good news: we don’t walk this road alone. Even if we are taken off guard, God is not. He is prepared and equipping us.
I love the way the Message bible puts these words from Jesus:
For when we don’t know which way is up, we have to live by Faith. Faith means I’m not in charge, Someone else is. It means I know I can’t go do this alone. It means I get to tap into a Source greater than me in order to meet the incredible demands of life… to do things I never knew I could.
Where I stop, God can start.
Own your story. Give it a voice. Let it be seen. Let it be loved. Let it be intimately known and bravely lived.
Then, ask God how He can shine through you.
Extra Musings and Random Thoughts
I’m so grateful for the quiet time I got to enjoy last week. I finished a couple books:
Gretchen Rubin’s Better Than Before. This was a fun read. Gretchen excitedly researched habits, how we form them, why we form them, why some stick and some don’t and how understanding our habit personality types can help us live a little better than before.
Kristin Neff’s Self-Compassion. Another research based book. Her research and concepts on how to better relate to yourself, your life, emotions and reality is something everyone would greatly benefit from. Wish I’d read this younger in life, but so glad I did now when I can embrace it and hopefully use the knowledge not only in practice, but to help others as well. I’m sure my yogi’s will be hearing a lot of this come out of me in future classes!! 🙂
It can’t be said enough: I’m so thankful for all of the people who do life with me. Thank you (you know who you are!) for giving my life support, fun, friendship, joy, family, wisdom, encouragement, goofiness, laughs and most of all real love.
(Thanks to my dad) I got a copy of Brene Brown’s new book Rising Strong on the day it came out. I’m 3 chapters in and can’t wait to devour the whole thing.
Lastly but certainly not least – HOW IS IT SEPTEMBER ALREADY?!