Tuesday, October 11, 2011

I Want Peace

We humans are a funny breed.  The brains we have set us apart from all the other living things in creation and yet it is our very brains that make us unhappy. 

We live in a state of want.  It doesn't matter how our lives are going or what faith we're claiming or our social status or our check book balance, we live in want.  (Yes, I know the Biblical, we're fallen and so on, thank you very much.  That point aside.)

We spend a lot of time trying to find happy.  We spend a lot of energy on trying to fix or change life as it's happening to us.  We spend enormous amounts of emotions on things we can't control or impact or will ever have all that much say in. 

I'm not saying our feelings are bad or wrong or shouldn't be.  I have them too.  There are plenty of things that rock my world and knock me on my butt. 

There is a way to live through it though and not have living life be the most horrible experience possible. 

But I wonder why we fight it so hard?  I wonder what about us---I know, the fallen thing, I get it---makes us so difficult.  When we just accept life, it's easier. 

Life is uncertain.
Life is unfair.
Life is hard.
People are mean.
People judge unfairly.
It's hard to guess what to do next.
We can't see or know the future.
We can barely predict the weather, we can't predict outcomes of life that involve live people.
Love isn't easy, but you can't live without it.
Love is the ultimate in compromise.
Love is complicated.
Friends are hard to make and harder to keep.  They take work and grace and time--like years, not weeks.

To accept these "truths" and others about life brings a certain amount of peace. 

Peace is a good place to live.

Even without all the answers.

Yeah, you can (and probably should) plan to a certain degree for the what if's of life.  Yeah, it's good and right to think ahead to this could happen or that may happen, but not to fixate on the worst or the best. 

I think we fight that list up above because we want life to turn out to be the fairy tale perfection we were dreaming of when we were 9 or 13 or what ever age, when we still believed that everyone at their core in some way played fair and life was some kind of even playing ground. 

It's not.  Bad junk happens to good people.  All the time.  Mean people exist all over the place.  Mistakes happen.  Hurts happen. 

But what happens after? Do you keep going or do you just quit cause it wasn't fair and someone skipped you in line and took your turn?  Do you crawl under your bed cause someone said your dress looked stupid and you had a bad hair cut?  Do you give up on everyone else in your life cause your spouse died unfairly?  Do you have a rage because it didn't go the way you believe with all your heart and soul to be the "right" way? The Bible way?

You can.  But it hurts to live that way.  It's exhausting.  It's isolating.  It's just plain hard to keep up that much energy into being ultimately angry.  And who are you really angry at anyway?

Or you can have a peace to live in.  I know, it's a strange sort of peace, but it's still better-at least to me-to live in that place.  The one that accepts the bad junk that comes your way and just decides to keep moving, to keep looking for the good, the smile, the small ray of sunshine peaking through the thunderstorm. 

It's all those old, worn cliches. 

"Don't cry because it ended, smile because it was."

That's where I live.  After 40 years of learning journey, that's where I decide to live daily, and yeah, I do have a lot of days where I have to make that choice minute by minute.  I don't dismiss the hard and painful that is in my life, cause you better believe, I have plenty of it, I just want to see the smile instead of the tears.  I want to see that moment of joy, even if it's only a moment, before the black closes back in again.

You decide to take your life however you want, but don't fault me for living mine my way. 

I guess it's a simple agree to disagree. 

To me, it looks like excuses, to you it looks like I'm stubborn and not understanding.  And that's perfectly OK.  You're going to say, but it's not that easy.  I can't just decide to see my life differently and act differently and feel differently, I can't. 

Well, maybe you can't.....

but maybe you can.