Life is going along nicely. Good things are happening, you feel content and happy, then Wham! You hit a big old pothole in the pathway of life. The wheels come off and you are cracking up.
We have all been there. We had hopes and dreams. Then those expectations were dashed by someone else, by those accidents of life, or because we got in our own way.
We try desperately to cope:
- Why is this happening to me?
- What am I supposed to learn from this?
- This must be preparing me for something better in my life.
What do we do when our lives fracture?
We first try to find some resolution to this fragmentation of our lives.
We often try to resolve the tension and the anxiety by tying up whatever loose ends we find. We seek for purpose in it all. We try to push away our fear. Or we hide away the parts of ourselves that don’t feel right.
We tell ourselves that what happened to me is not really what my life is about. I want to skip over it. Something better is coming and this too will pass.
What if this natural response to our anxiety—the attempt to find closure and to go past the present—is exactly what contributes to the fracturing of life?
I believe life is a grand process held in the loving presence of God. Nothing prepares us for life, because whatever happens to us IS our life.
This is hard because it means that we choose to live with the ends loose. Life is always in transition and always in flux.
Our sense of peace does not lie in having everything all neat and tidy. True peace cannot wait for everything to resolved: it will then never come. There is always something undone and unresolved.
Learn from the weather.
What atmospheric conditions cannot be considered weather?
- Sunshine or storm.
- Heat wave or blizzard.
- Calm winds or hurricanes.
- High temperatures or frigid days.
It is all weather. We can’t change it, we can only be in it.
Same thing with life. Every event and every moment is part of my living. It is not meant for some future destination, but for my here and now.
Consider who you are. You do things now because of all that has happened to you.
Everything that happens adds color and flavor to how we perceive the world and how we respond to everything.
This peace that God brings us is one lived with integrity and wholeness. So every part of me and every event of my life IS my living.
It is possible to be whole even while our lives are torn apart and fragmented.
When we reject or downplay any experience in our lives, we add to our own compartmentalization and alienation in life. When I look at a part of myself and push it away as bad, I set myself up for splintering in heart, mind, and will.
When we do this, we also set up a pattern we bring to our relationships. If I normally reject parts of my own self for any reason, I can easily apply the same process of rejection to the people in my life I see as “bad” or “different.” We can’t accept one another when we define others as not acceptable within our circle of living.
Peace I leave with you. My peace I give you. I give to you not as the world gives. Don’t be troubled or afraid. (John 14:27 CEB)
This peace and wholeness that God gives us needs to be founded an a radical experience of grace in our own life experiences. I may not like what is going on with me right now, but this is my life. God can help me to see its sacred wholeness. And as I practice this personal grace, I can more easily be a true witness to the love and grace of God with others in my life.
Grace then becomes the key to living our one, whole, integrated life. All the fractured pieces become ingredients God uses for our complete healing.
What part of your life do you try to “keep out?”
How can you bring these pushed away parts of your life home?