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Archive for January, 2010

There is snow topping the mountains outside my window, and twilight touching the snow, and the effect is quite lovely. Still, I am ready to go back to the Abbey. When life sends its inevitable questions and conundrums one must have a place to go for refuge and clarity to take a minute and sort everything out. And life needs sorting.

One of my professors once said, “Decisions are a bitch. And if you decide to not decide and not do anything, THAT is a decision!” It’s true, you know. And while I feel the weight of life decisions more heavily now then ever, (more than half-way through college, in a serious relationship, trying to choose a career path, etc) I know that weight will only increase with time. I have one life, and I have only one chance to live it as beautifully or pathetically as I choose. How’s THAT for drama? If anyone ever sees life as boring or mundane, they obviously don’t understand what they are dealing with!

As for myself, I know what I want. I want the same thing every person on this planet wants: true, deep, peaceful happiness. It is when one tries to determine the best path to happiness that things get sticky. Every war ever fought comes down a basic disagreement regarding the nature of the best path. Similarly, I think one could claim that every broken home and broken relationship stems from the same disagreement: what IS the best path to happiness?

And so that is my mission this year: to find the path to true happiness. I know this cannot be achieved in a year, in twenty years, even a lifetime. Happiness is not something that can be found and then treasured in a box under your bed for years afterward. I think that happiness come from its pursuit, from the satisfaction of knowing that you are doing what is best and most meritorious in this very messed-up world. And to me, what is best and most meritorious is to love.┬áIt’s nothing very earth-shattering or difficult to think up, it is only difficult to put into practice. That is the ironic part. You would think that I would do anything necessary to achieve this peace and contentment, but I don’t. It is difficult to love because love, despite what any chick-flick might try to say, comes down to sacrifice. And sacrifice hurts. Sacrifice is scary shit.

But even once I swallow the icky reality of sacrifice, then I hit another problem: alright, I must achieve happiness by loving others. But how to love them? Well, that is what I have to figure out. It is what you have to figure out. No one is called to love in the same way; we are each given unique gifts and abilities and must use those gifts for the good of others. So that is my problem. What precisely are my gifts and how are they best used, once I even figure out what they are? This is the weight of life, the weight of freedom and it’s enormous responsibility. Life isn’t for wimps.

So, yeah. I want some time to sit and think and get my life in order. Sadly, life doesn’t hold up to give anyone time. It just keeps coming. I guess I have to learn to live with that, and take it as it comes, and love all the while. That’s why we need God, folks, because no one can do successfully do all this on their own.

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