the tug of war of giving into the darkness, only to arrive at a place of choosing love again, and returning to the light
over and over again
We are called to resist viewing ourselves as consumers or as commodities. We are called to savor the process of our own slow, patient development, instead of suffering in an enervated, anxious state over our value and our popularity. We are called to view our actions as important, with or without consecration by forces beyond our control. We are called to plant these seeds in our world: to dare to tell every living soul that they already matter, that their seemingly mundane lives are a slowly unfolding mystery, that their small choices and acts of generosity are vitally important.
Here is how you will start: You will recognize that you are not headed for some imaginary finish line, some state of “best”ness that will finally bring you peace. You will see that you are as much of a miracle as Mozart was. You will remember that bit of advice lurking inside one of Shirley Jackson’s dark novels: “Somewhere, deep inside you, hidden by all sorts of fears and worries and petty little thoughts, is a clean pure being made of radiant colors.” You will feel this and know it in your heart and pass this feeling along to the people around you. You will breathe in this moment — this imperfect, uncertain, not-quite-right, heavenly moment.
You will say to yourself, “It is enough.” And it will be.
When stumped by a lifechoice, choose “enlargement” over happiness. I’m indebted to the Jungian therapist for the insight that major personal decisions should be made not by asking, “Will this make me happy?”, but “Will this choice enlarge me or diminish me?”
There will always be too much to do – and this realisation is liberating. The only viable solution is to make a shift: from a life spent trying not to neglect anything, to one spent proactively and consciously choosing what to neglect, in favour of what matters most.