Straight Talk

Life hurts and it’s hard.  
Not because you’re doing 
it wrong, but because it 
hurts for everybody.  
Don’t avoid the pain.  
You need it.  It’s meant 
for you.  Be still with it, 
let it come, let it go, let 
it leave you with the fuel 
you’ll burn to get your 
work done on this earth.”
(Glennon Doyle Melton)


In a world where messages of  “follow your heart” and “live your best life” are as ubiquitous as the air we breathe, it’s hard to remember that a perpetual state of happiness isn’t the marker of an abundant, meaningful life.  The reality of happiness – true happiness – is that it’s hard earned, fought for, and believed to be possible even and especially while standing in the midst of what feels impossible.  

I didn’t always know this….and, now that I do, it doesn’t change the fact that I struggle to hang onto its wisdom when life turns up the heat.  I want to live my best life.  I want to follow my bliss.  Who doesn’t?!  To want that is human.  When you’re in a place of deprivation, though, it’s easy to confuse the idea of a best life or a happy heart with something or someone that makes the pain of what’s missing disappear.  There’s nothing inherently wrong with longing, wishing, and hoping for more.  To shame or guilt ourselves about experiencing those pangs suggests that our humanity is something to apologize for.  It isn’t.  It’s our greatest gift.  Our responsibility to that gift is to manage it in a way that doesn’t make life harder than it already is.  

At some point, we’ve all fallen victim to our own naiveté and immaturity.  Beating ourselves up for wishing we’d known then what we know now makes life harder.  Living in the past as if you would ever be able to rewrite history makes life harder.  Bargaining with yourself about what would have happened if you’d made this decision versus that or that decision versus this makes life harder.  Remembering that who you were yesterday does not have to be who you are today makes life easier.  Trusting that there is an important and positive gain in every loss makes life easier.  Being committed to where you are now instead of lost in thoughts about where you think you need to be makes life easier.  

Are you making your life harder or easier?