I am an advocate of getting-in-touch-with-reality, for sure.
It only makes sense to me that we human beings, if we are going to fix (or at least improve on) our many flaws and foibles, and figure out how to live life best, must first understand The-Way-Things-Are.
Unfortunately, we have this very strong tendency to believe what we wish to be true. And that is a problem. You’re going to have a rough time and waste a lot of energy, for example, if you believe you have the voice of an angel and should spend your time sharing your gift with the world, when in actuality you sound like Grover from Sesame Street.
If your wheels aren’t on the ground, they’re just going to spin.
So, first-things-first, we need to – both individually and collectively – get a grip.
Once we’ve done that, however, and our “wheels” are making good contact with a solid surface, we’ve got to turn around and put those rose-colored glasses right back on…at least this is what I’m thinking today, and I will explain why.
We are very tactile, short-sighted creatures, really. We are easily bogged down by the immediate, mundane details of our lives. Happy moments of the past and future are hard bring to mind when we are faced with today’s sadness or boredom or frustration. The present difficulties seem more real than anything else, and it makes us want to give up the fight.
Considering the large percentage of our lives that are consumed by these mundane details, you’d think we’d be pretty much screwed.
BUT…there is this other funny little quirk in the human psyche that is our saving grace:
We are compelled by story.
Much more so than we are by facts, statistics, dissertation or rational analysis, however true or relevant they may be. Stories move us, stay with us, and help us make meaning from our existence.
Every now and then, for me, something happens in my life that enables me to take a step back from it and see it all as part of the grand human drama…one that is headed toward some sort of resolution in which good triumphs over evil and all the pain and tedium turn out to be the stepping stones that get us there, if we use them positively.
I’ve realized this about myself repeatedly – how much more clearly I see and think, how much more graciously I act, how much more forgiving and loving I am toward others when I am looking at my life from this outside, cosmic point of view.
That is what I mean when I say “putting on rose-colored glasses” or “romanticizing reality.” Not living in denial of what is, but looking at it through a lens of hope. It’s not always an easy thing to do, but it is something we must try to do – all of us – if we are going to bring good out of the chaos.
I’ve had something pretty crazy happen to me this past week. And, yes, it has to do with love. (What else is a 29 year-old, single girl gonna talk about?)
That boy, C. (aka Mr. Love), after two years of absence, is back in my life. (Perhaps I should clarify that “in my life” includes such activities as kissing and texting me.)
This is rather mind-blowing, as I have spent so much time longing for this. And it is producing one of those moments in which I look back at my life and see all the heart-ache and questions as plot twists in my own life’s story.
Of course, if there is one thing I have come to believe over the past couple of years, it is that life is full of twists; that it is so NOT predictable; that it will take you places both painful and joyful that you never could have anticipated.
Since my wishing and wondering over whether or not I would ever see C. again has been answered, it has inevitably been replaced by the next big question…will we end up together? But that is a silly question to ask, really. Because even people who “end up together” (i.e. get married) just have to keep asking themselves bigger and bigger questions.
Will I stay with this person today? Tomorrow? Ten years from now? Will I have children with this person? Will we spend our lives pursuing the American dream? Or Chasing Adventure? Or Fighting for World Peace?
Having this one current, significant question answered in my life has made me realize that life, the future, will always be one big question mark. And if I’m going to enjoy the journey, I’m going to have to embrace that, embrace uncertainty. And be okay sitting back and watching the story unfold.
Whether C. and I fall in love and get married and have kids, or whether we date for a while, have a great time, and decide we aren’t really compatible, it will all just be part of the story – my story, his story, and the story of the universe we are both effective entities in.
But I think that, no matter what happens, I will be able to navigate it all gracefully if I sort of levitate above it all, seeing the events and circumstances that come from a universal perspective…
…believing that in the end reality – even with all its harshness – can have a happy ending, if I, if WE, believe it can and are willing to take action accordingly.