Finding Ourselves in the Right Hands
[Oh friends, please stop and watch this video. It is created by my brilliant friend Alyssa Bistonath and it makes me cry (and, I am NOT a cryer) every single time.]
We are alive.
Yes, oh, we are all alive.
Fredrick Buechner wrote: "This is the world. Beautiful and terrible things will happen. Don't be afraid."
Don't be afraid.
This life is for the living. And oh, the living, it is hard. And sometimes we forget who all of this living is for. Is it for the paycheque? For the 2314 Instagram followers? For your yet-to-be-born daughter? For your neighbour, your father, your God, for you?
Who is it all for?
In The Joy of Missing Out, I write about three keys to cultivating a meaningful existence in the 21st century: Embracing Weakness, Practicing Renunciation and Being Known.
First, in admitting weakness, we confess our need, we come closer. Second, in renunciation: letting our yeses by yes and our nos be no, we form commitments, and in these limits we find our meaning. Third, we must be known. We only matter to the people in our lives who know us, who truly know us and, in honour, we must devote our lives to them by speaking and being with them. We do not discover who we are in a solitary state, we find it in mutual dependency, in learning through belonging.
When we are not worried about posting and sharing and tweeting everything into the ether but, instead, delighting our loved ones with our presence, our anecdotes, our ideas - we can find peace and the quiet joy of self-forgetfulness because we have made our choice.
It is in composing a life, finding ourselves in the right hands, that a sense of clarity and lightness floods in.
Increasingly, our days are spent in broadcasts: one-to-many projections of images and ideas. We create, we consume. We engage, we escape. The more we do these things the less intentional and more compulsive they become.
It is easy to lose ourselves. What is all of our tweeting and posting and sharing and lurking for?
Who is it for?
While our lives grow increasingly public, witnessing - being seen and known - holds a secret power. It is beautiful to be seen by the right person, the right people. Our people.
Who have you chosen and who has chosen you?
There is profound freedom being in the right hands.