Wednesday 6 February 2019

This Thing Called, "LIFE"

Life Happens

Pain Beckons Us to Life:

Pain is a normal part of the process of living. He who does not want pain does not live. For, living is pain, and pain is living. People are going to disappoint us. People are going to let us down. That is just the way the cookie crumbles. Some will be done intentionally, some unintentionally. Some will like you, some will never like you, and others could not be bothered. Some you will know the difference, some you will never know the difference. It is just the way life is.

Eleanor Roosevelt puts it like this, 

"It takes courage to love, but pain through love is the purifying fire which those who love generously know. We all know people who are so much afraid of pain that they shut themselves up like clams in a shell and, giving out nothing, receive nothing and therefore shrink until life is a mere living death." 

Don't Kick Against the Goads:

So why worry? Why fret? Why work yourself out on things you have no control over? You can either choose to fight in vain against these or use them for your own good. The ball is in your court. How are you going to play? How are you playing? Are you going to be happy regardless and despite all these? Or, are you going to allow it to steal your joy and your peace? No one else can make these decisions for you. It goes to the core of what makes you a living being. You either choose actively to live, or you are going to be miserable. As Norman Cousins puts it, "Your heaviest artillery will be your will to live. Keep that big gun going."

There is no Escaping Life:

The obvious choice in life is clear, but yet not too many people take it. In futility, a great many seek to beat it. They think they can finally outsmart life. Many look for the answer in drugs and alcohol. If only I could knock myself out they say. Yet, this only offers temporary relief and snuff out the very life from them, holding them captive to its vices. Some look for it in all the wrong places seeking acceptance and wanting to numb the pain within. How so soon they find out the wretchedness of their cravings. Trying to find themselves they become more lost.

Eric Thomas explains it as follows,

"You will never be successful until you turn your pain into greatness until you allow your pain to push you from where you are to push you to where you need to be. Stop running from your pain and embrace your pain. Your pain is going to be part of your prize, a part of your product. I challenge you to push yourself."

Settling is no Answer:

Some have given up trying altogether but bear in them the hurt and the anger from past disappointments. In an attempt to get back at their abusers, they remain victims – lawful captives. The hurt and anger eat them up from within. In trying to numb the pain within they give themselves pain without. Rather than get the relief they desire they are held deeper and deeper in captivity.

Samuel Smiles has this to say,

"The battle of life is, in most cases, fought uphill; and to win it without a struggle was perhaps to win it without honor. If there were no difficulties there would be no success; if there were nothing to struggle for, there would be nothing to be achieved." 

Passivity is no Answer:

Some are passive about their hurt and anger. They pour their energy into other things, like careers, pets, etc. As safe as it might sound, this is still not living. They become captives of the things they turn to and deprive themselves of the fullness life has to offer. These remain victims and lawful captives.

Mao Zedong had this to contribute,

"If there were no contradictions and no struggle, there would be no world, no process, no life, and there would be nothing at all."

Iron sharpens Iron:

No other thing can ever take the place of another human heart. We are each made to warm one another. Nothing else can take that place. Nothing else can ever take the place of interacting with others. Every other thing is only transient. They will either leave us or we will leave them. The impact we make on one another is eternal. It is deep, it is whole. Only another human being can touch your soul at its depth. "You cannot avoid pain, but you can choose to overcome it." (Paul Coelho) 

The Creator’s word still reverberates through the cosmos. “It’s not good for the Man to be alone; I’ll make him a helper, a companion.” The help meet for the man (and woman) is not any other thing, but a fellow human being. No one can truly give a human being love, and affection, and bring out the fullness of who he/she is other than a fellow human being. They might hurt us. They might disappoint us. They might not like us. Yet, there is no substitute. There is no substitute for a relationship. There is no substitute for interacting with another human being. Therein is life. Therein is living. Therein is living to the fullest measure.

Iyanla Vanzant says,

"You cannot experience the fullness of your authentic self or life when you live to avoid hurt. You will never know the joy of love or peaceful satisfaction of being loved if you hide from hurt."

Life is about loving and being loved. Life is about relationships. Yes, the same door through which we allow the joy of living is the one through which hurts come. The hurts and the pain come to build us – mature us. They are not to be avoided, but to learn and grow from. For the joy that we want we have to be ready to risk the pain also. "Do you see that God allows people to respond to you in many different ways to mold you?" (Fenelon)

We cannot afford to deprive ourselves of joy, love, affection, and warmth? Will we for the risk of the pain deprive ourselves, and the whole world, of the fullness of who we are and ought to be? Is living not worth the very risk? I think it is. What about you?

© 2015 Akin Akinbodunse.

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