Wednesday, July 24, 2013

How will you live?

So lately I feel like I'm just holding my breath, waiting for something terrible to happen to me. It's completely unwarranted and irrational... perhaps paranoia operating at full force.

The other day I was listening to some friends discuss a few things going on in the news. Discussing them like anyone living in America should clearly know what was going on. Now, if this had been a year ago, I might have justified my ignorance being due to the whole 'living in the middle-of-nowhere' thing... but now? Now I don't really have a good excuse.

So, I decided to read up on some news.
Within ten minutes, I was reminded why I don't like to stay thoroughly informed. I was horrified by what I was reading... horrified that the stories were real....horrified that this is what was happening. One particular story sucked me in and I began scouring for anything and everything I could find on the topic. An accidental death while doing a very normal thing... but a thing that most people definitely don't die while doing.

Immediately you think...that could have been me...
And it turned into...can you even imagine...

Late into the night I was up processing and agonizing over the inevitably of death, pain, horror, and other bad things which are sure to ensue in this lifetime.

It felt overwhelming.
It still feels overwhelming.
But they are things I can't avoid, things I can't even begin to predict.

My mom called today and I picked up the phone asking, "Are you okay? Are you alive?" I was partially kidding, but partially serious. Mostly it just allowed for a good segue into my latest thoughts.

Because... the thing is that there's been a lot of good in my life. A lot of blessings. My life isn't defined by tragedy. But I know that someday it will strike. I know that someday my parents will die. It's a guarantee. Someday I'll get a terrible phone call. I know someday I will die.

So initially this causes panic. A 'how-can-I-prevent-all-bad-things-from-ever-happening' type of mindset. It creates an overcautious, overworried, overprotective, overneurotic person who is fearful of anything that might involve risk.

And then eventually I decide it's all ridiculous, out of my control and I continue to live life jumping out of airplanes, speeding in cars, drinking the water in developing countries, getting sunburns that make my skin molt (I didn't mean for this one to happen...).

A friend reminded me recently of the quote: You don't get to choose how you're going to die. Or when. But you can decide how you're going to live...

It's true.
I don't need to dwell on the fact that bad stuff will happen. I don't need to let that keep me from functioning, from joy, from risk.

Because right now there's good stuff. And even in the pain, and even after the pain, I know there will continue to be good stuff. I don't want to miss all the good stuff because I'm so focused on trying to avoid the bad stuff.

I can't control it.
I don't want to live life paralyzed in fear of when or how or to whom it'll happen.
I think there's a freedom that can come in choosing to live fully in the life we've been given instead of in the death that we've already been saved from. A certain freedom that comes in choosing to walk in the knowledge of the grander scene of eternity.

I want that.
It doesn't mean I need to be ignorant, or make unwise decisions... but it does allow me to live at peace internally.

A letting go...
As it always tends to be.

Your entries will remain anonymous

No comments:

Post a Comment