What is it about life that can conjure up so many stresses and overwhelmingly negative nouns?

Is it really as complicated as we think it is? We have to work, take care of our families, our kids, our pets, and of course ourselves. We have to make and keep appointments, get our groceries -and not to mention a million other things that seem happen at the worst possible moment- but still, life happens and that is an undeniably tried and true fact. Life will happen no matter how neatly your cupboard is organized, how many post it’s you have on your board and how many plans you make. You can carry an umbrella with you but odds are the day you forget it is the day it rains. And yes, I am only 25 so maybe I’m not the most experienced in life, but that is besides the point. Life is and can be lived many times over no matter how old or young you are. We have no control over the cards we are dealt, all we can do is hope for the best.

If life continues to be at times, an umwelcomned pain in the butt, maybe it’s trying to teach us something. And as stubborn as we are, life is very a patient but sometimes callous teacher.

So lesson after lesson we continue to ignore it because we’re to busy thinking about what’s for dinner or worrying about picking up our kids on time or why our boss wants to see us -and believe me I am not immune to any of these thoughts. The list is endless and can go on forever but I’m sure you get the gist of it and honestly I am guilty of losing myself in thoughts like these daily.

Life sure can be a pain in the butt but it has the best intentions. Maybe the reason why it continues to knock us down when we’re at our worst or test us when we can’t imagine that we could ever come up with the right answer, is because we don’t take the time to think why us and why now? Beyond that, why are we being challenged and what do we have to learn? What is hiding behind the this lesson? Dare we take the time and look beyond the mask. Instead, we curse and fight and try our hardest to move past whatever life has thrown at us. I know I have and on a day when it can’t get any worse-it does. So, we avoid things because they’re hard, or make us uncomfortable and we forget just how strong we are and how much we have already achieved.

Moreover, It’s hard to be alive and that is a fact- one that we learn pretty quickly. Shortly after our introduction to this world, we are faced with so many challenges at such an infant stage, and yet we learn. We learn to breathe on our own, we learn to eat with our hands, to talk with our mouths and to crawl before we can walk. We learn so many invaluable lessons for such a young soul,but we do learn. So why when we have been given many more years and many more lessons do we not learn to breathe on our own,or eat with our hands or talk with our mouths anymore? How is it that these little versions of ourselves looked life in the eyes and came out thriving, but yet we cannot muster the courage and let go of our pride to learn and to love? Why must our prejudice, our fear, and our indifference grow up with us? Is it due to the scars that life has left on us, the times we tried and failed, the countless broken hearts we have suffered or those moments where you question everything?

It is true that growing up is a privilege and one in which we take for granted. We wish for the days of our youth, for the simpler times. The days when there were no responsibilities, no mortgages, no car payments, no debts, just simplicity.Happiness and play time, naps and endless new discoveries. But why is it that we always wish for the past? Why can we not be grateful for the here and now? And why does growing up have to be such a drag?

I think we have strayed far from what we are missing most as humans. When we are kids life is simple, we make friends, we have no judgment, we love all without reserve or question and we are there for our friends no matter what. But with age comes knowledge, we learn that there is danger, not to cross the street and to trust only a selected few- all of which are important lessons . No doubt the world can be a scary place, but these lessons teach us to fear, to stay behind closed doors and to lock up all we hold dear, including ourselves- our true selves.

The world is full of things to be afraid of and so we learn to hide our pain and to keep moving forward despite our better judgment. But not all wounds heal and some leave scars so deep that it is only natural to want to hide them. So, we line up one after another, until our name is called and we are given our mask. The masks we wear are all different but all achieve the same thing, teaching us to adapt, to hide and to fear. We accept what we are told, keep our heads down and start the path of life -but dare not to stray. We do not want to be the one to step out of the path, to colour outside the lines, to do something on a whim, in essence,to be a child again.

Now I know this is quite a heavy subject but what I believe simply put is that we must listen to the voices in our head, we know what makes us happy and what we know is right. But, it is hard to stand up when you are one alone and it is scary to take a chance and to risk failing. To follow the path may lead you to a comfortable place, but it will also lead you to where others have already made their mark and left their footprints- so where will you leave your mark?

The lessons that we have in life, from birth to death, are hard and test us like nothing else. Life is not easy and it doesn’t take a long life to figure that out. But, life is worth it! I believe we must try to give life’s lessons the time and attention they deserve. They are not random events that have chosen at your worst moment to push you off the edge, but gifts that are meant to teach us and remind us that life is a gift- a messy one but beautiful at the same time. It is when we choose to forget this that we feel hopeless and that there is no way out.

In the end, like many have said before me and will say long after, life is a gift. It is up to us. We are given the choice of what to do with it. Its our decision to open our gift and see it’s exquisite beauty or decide to put our gift away knowing that it’s full potential is revealed only after we’ve opened it. My hope for you is you open your gift and continue to greet your lessons one by one no matter the weather. Then comes the best part, when the sun comes to acknowledge how you have grown. It impresses upon us how storms are strong and sometimes scary, but always fleeting.

Until next time…

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