We will be judged, I, I will be judged by someone, somewhere for every choice I make, every word I say or write, always and forever no matter what.
I can be true to myself (myself and my beliefs about God), loyal to my spouse, and present for my children. And I think that is the end, the extent. If I am a good friend, sister, daughter, encourager, teacher, citizen, neighbor as a byproduct of the first three, wonderful, bonus, icing on the cake. But when I carry the weight of each and all, when I care so much about that which falls outside the nucleus of my life, we all lose, each and every one. And first to lose is the nucleus- my Self, my God connection, my spouse and my children.
Enough is enough is enough.
Enough with expectation and (perhaps imagined) social pressures and the quest for perfection in all things. You don’t owe the world your everything. Perhaps you don’t owe the world anything at all.
Be fully present in who you already are and what is right in front of you.
Be kind to everyone.
Forgive quickly. And again and again if you must.
Be a turtle. Slow and steady, taking your home with you wherever you go.
Be an eagle. Soar high above the tree line, letting the wind carry you forth.
Be the ant, working diligently at what you know. Undistracted. Undeterred.
The consensus matters not. The voices. The shadows. The fear.
Faith like a child.
Tuned in. Tuned out.
You need that island that floats in the freezing waters of the Pacific? Bring it to you. The island is here, you can find it in nearly every choice you make. The slowing down. The simplicity. The silence.
Be a magnet, forever drawn to joy, to gratitude.
Bathe in the cool, clean, life-giving waters of grace. Let it wash over you, awaken you, cleanse your heart and your mind and your soul.
Keep near to that which centers you. Release that which spins you off course. You, you are your harshest critic. You think you should be unphased? Unmoved? That would make you God. That would mean you are the Center. Silly human.
Maybe its not as bad as you think it is. Maybe it never is. Maybe its never as bad as it seems, maybe when it seems as bad as it feels you should just ask yourself a few questions.
Have you eaten well today? Exercised? Had enough sleep, solitude, sex lately? Have you had any positive, encouraging, life-giving conversations this week?
Food. Exercise. Sleep. Meditation. Connection. Maybe your needs are a lot more simple than you think they are. Maybe you are a lot simpler than you think you are. Maybe you suffer from a serious case of self-neglect. Maybe that’s all it is.
So much pain. And joy. And loss. And gain.
The loss of so many loved ones. Too many. Death’s pain. Death and loss.
Hip pain. Hip surgery. Hip recovery. Tooth pain. Oral surgery. Recovery. And then no more physical pain whatsoever. Whatsoever!
Change. The end of one season, the beginning of a new. Death of old dreams. The birth of new.
And through it all beauty. Majestic, unfathomable beauty; in the Kansas skies, the Colorado evergreens, the peaks of Wyoming. In the view from the front porch of a little cabin in Livingston, Montana. In the culture of New Mexico and the humans of New York. In the crashing of the ocean’s waves, in the setting of the Florida sun. In the patriotism and loyalty of one New York firefighter’s family. In a friend’s second chance at life. In a cousin’s second chance at life. In a veteran’s second chance at life. In a house in the country filled with food and laughter and music and children. In friendship, old and new. And accomplished goals. And in the stacks and stacks of library books; books filled with stories of courage and discovery, triumph and reconciliation.
And always there is Love. Right in the midst of it all. Restoring. Healing. Making all things new.