“get busy living or get busy dying…”~ The Shawshank Redemption
Sometimes, a simple truth comes drifting over to where you are and lands on your lap like a beautiful flower. It startles you. Because it hits you like a brick and yet it is so gentle, delicate and beautiful that it also feels like some benevolent god just reached out for a moment and tenderly caressed your soul.
You’ve known this truth since forever, and yet it took so long…so very long…for you to understand it.
Yesterday, in the most read post on this blog…”A beautiful and necessary love story”, I found Christopher Poindexter’s impressive image once again…“I wear my insecurities like pockets, and I fill them with my fears and my hands are growing tired from reaching down into them to hold the feeling of being afraid.”
It made me think of many things.
Of how tired my own hands have grown from reaching down to hold that feeling of being afraid. Of how sometimes we are so afraid of losing something we love and want that we refuse to love it…maybe refuse to love anything really. Of how much we are willing to suffer and lose just because we’re so used to being afraid.
But I already know all this. We all know this. So what is there to think about?
I stood for a while looking at nothing in particular while a Palo Verde tree showered me with tiny yellow flowers. They landed on my shoulders, in my hair and in my lap.
And then suddenly, as if waking from a dream, I said out loud: “But being afraid is of no use!”
It doesn’t exactly sound like a revelation but it is. We do hold on to that feeling of being afraid…despite ourselves and all we know. And sometimes in our lives everything that can go wrong does. We fail, we get smashed in the process. And we keep holding on to the fear…as if it’s some kind of buffer that will keep us safe.
But it isn’t. It’s like holding on to a dirty, old rag that contaminates anything it touches.
Fear never saves us from anything. It never even protects us even a little…from ourselves, from anything or anyone else. All that feeling of being afraid ever does is lie. About everything.
And we lose. We lose what we love and need…we lose it all, in bits and pieces.
Suddenly, on a random day in June, while little yellow flowers danced in the breeze, in this life, fear was asked a simple question: “And what exactly have you done for me?”.
Fear could not come up with a useful answer.
Sometimes, a simple truth comes drifting over to where you are and lands on your lap like a beautiful flower.
And that random moment is the right one. And you see. And you dismiss the familiar lie you’ve been holding in your pocket since forever. And you breathe with relief when you come across Vonnegut’s famous words: “Of all the words of mice and men, the saddest are, “It might have been.”
Because finally…finally, you see there is no reason for you to keep those words in your life.