Wednesday, April 18, 2012
Like A Million Pieces
Life is one of those day-to-day things. It can't really be generalized as an event. I think that life is a reoccurring "thing" that you do every day. It's defined by the things you do, the places you go, the people you meet, ect.
The way we "live" our lives is determined by an internal process that humans created to try to place our experiences into manageable timeframes, categories, and feelings. You encounter things and/or people, you perceive them through your personal filters, you process and then experience them as an event, and then you learn something about what happened (hopefully).
I think that the issue that people have with "life" is a two-fold problem within us as individual human beings:
1. We are too insecure.
Whether it be in who we are, our worth in our existence, our worth to someone else, our capability, ect. We are insecure creatures, always fearful of falling out of favor in the eyes of ourselves or others.
There's nothing wrong with caring about what people think, but allowing your sense of SELF-worth be determined by your perception of how other people view you is a dangerous place to be. If there's one thing I've learned in my years on this planet, it's that everyone has a purpose, and everyone has something to offer. Maybe you haven't found that person or place yet, but you are valuable to somebody. Someone needs you. If people were to understand that somebody holds them in a place of value, I think that the insecurity issue would be counteracted a good bit.
The problem here is that a lot of people have never experienced a sense of being loved, cherished, and cared for. That is what sets a select group of people apart from others. Because they have reached the revelation of understanding that there is an all knowing, all powerful, creator God who knows every messed up thing that they try to hide in their hearts - but He loves them still. That is a sense of unprejudiced affection that cannot be taken away. That allows these people to experience their life with a sense of security, because they have gone through tough times, just like all of us. The difference is that their hope and joy of security and worth is not stocked in other people, because they know that people can change and people can disappoint. They stock their hope and joy in a source that has never, and will never run dry. That source is the answer to our collective insecurity, because it is a love that overwhelms us when we need it most, and it never disappoints.
2. We don't know how to take the good and leave the bad.
We take things too personally. We have been driven into this belief that whenever we encounter something negative, we are supposed to judge ourselves in a negative light, condemn ourselves, and give ourselves the 12 lashings we so deserve.
In reality, when we experience negative things, there is such a thing as taking the good and leaving the bad. Just because something *is* bad doesn't mean we have to take it that way. It's just taking "learn from your mistakes" one step further. Learn from your mistakes so that you can be the best you that you can possibly be, then just move on. Period.
Humans have this complex that tells us that when we do wrong, we should try to fix the past before we make things right in the present. Unfortunately, no one outside of J.J. Abrams' Star Trek universe is capable of changing the past. Trying to do so is like trying to teach a kangaroo how to do the tango; you're wasting your time, and probably looking more and more foolish as the minutes drag on.
The Bible teaches that God knows we're going to screw up - it's inherent in our genes to be flawed. We will never be perfect, we will never be the best, and we will never do everything like we want to. But it also teaches that even though He knows that, He still urges us to keep going. Because He is more than capable of picking us up when we fall, dusting us off, and teaching us how to do it better next time.
If we can learn to filter our experiences in a manner that says, "okay, maybe I didn't do this the best, but how can I make it better in the future?" we will find ourselves laying our heads on our pillows having spent a 24-hour span of time increasing the quality of our lives and of the lives around us.
Our experiences on this earth are important, and they shape the dynamic of who we are, but they're not everything. It's not about what you do or how you do it, it's about what He will do through you.
The two-fold problem of insecurity and inability to learn is combined to cause the real issue: we have times where we stop allowing God to use us. When you shut that door and tell yourself you've been a bad boy/girl or you're not good enough and nothing will ever go your way, you put a wall between yourself and God. You put a hindrance between the tree and the root. You cut yourself off from the Source. That is why this problem persists; either people don't realize they have cut themselves off from the Source, or they don't know how to/want to fix it.
If you want to live your life to the height of your potential, if you want to experience life in a way that leaves you eager to see what the next day has in store, you have to connect to the Source.
Life is an occasion. Rise to it.