I have learned to not seek for comfort outside of my condition, but to find comfort within it. There is no escaping the things we see as difficult, or challenging, or hard. Those things are there, and the more ready we are to embrace them, the less challenging they appear.
Somewhere, someone once taught me that challenges were “hard”, and that they should be faced with a concern that gave them some sort of special meaning, and therefore should create in me a sense of special purpose. I can say they were wrong, that each experience in life should be faced with the same joy and expectation as every other experience in life, and that a chore can be as joyous as opening a birthday gift, if you see them both as opportunities to receive.
Perspective, I’ve learned, is the key. When you see that life is nothing but a series of contrasting experiences, each born in order for the other to be, you can see the joy that unites them both. Yes, in each tragedy there is love, and in each challenge a triumph. I can prove that if you dare me, it’s all just a matter of perspective.
Despite what I write, I can find equal comfort in aloneness as I do in companionship. Sure, each can be a challenge. Sometimes I want to be alone when in company, and sometimes I want company when alone, but ultimately I am equally happy either way. I’ve learned in my life to carry myself, to stand up on my own, and that nothing can truly beat me but me. Even if I fail some standard, or to meet some goal, I am never beaten. Unless I believe that I am.
Contrary to what some may think, life does give participation trophies. We call them memories. Or experiences. We are not all carved out to meet someone else’s definition of “winner”, but winners we are nonetheless. We live this life, we survive many challenges thrown our way until, one day, we jump through the mist of death into some great unknown.
Death is that moment when we realize that we were never really in control; that no matter how hard we struggled or resisted we always had no choice but to go with the flow. That flow brings us, finally, to the moment of ultimate surrender, that moment when we realize that perhaps we never really existed in the first place, and that all there was the experience, that participation trophy that says, “I was here, I did something.”
No matter what we have done, or not done, we all participate in this thing called life. We all have impacted someone at some point, and done something meaningful for someone even if we’ve never met them. Enjoy that power of you, that power that suggests that no matter what you are doing, you are impactful and necessary to the flow over which we have no control. Sure we can swim, or float, or dive, or fight that tide, but we will have no choice but to ride the flow. We have no choice but to participate in the journey, a journey that will always transform but may never end.
Happy Thursday, and what a Thursday it will be.
photo by: AlicePopkorn