These five words have been sitting in that deep part of my belly the last week or so. You know that core spot in yourself that holds those whispers and desires? Yes, right there this question has taken its seat and invited me to listen.
I was talking with my sister over breakfast this morning about these five little words. Sharing how easy it is to think that we are owning our lives, when really we are finding pieces of ourselves in others, in the people we admire, and in the people we don’t want to be like. We often unconsciously strive to do what we can to either mirror those good qualities, or run abruptly in the other direction from their vices.
I don’t think it is “bad” to see those who have gone before us and lived lives we respect or admire, whom we see bits and pieces of ourselves in. But, I think we get so lost and caught up in their victories, their successes and virtues, that we forget about their ache, their pain, their deep loneliness, loss and addiction that they too have had or currently experience. We forget that they are individuals with one name and one long story, separate from you and me. And that’s us. I am Melissa, and you are you. Though we may find threads that weave a similar pattern, they will in no way create the same outcome.
I am guilty of this. Of looking at individuals who have a certain disposition I find beautiful, or who are interested in specific topics, or books, living lives and vocations that I can see myself in. And though I look to them for inspiration, I cannot own their story, because it is not mine to own. My life, and yours, will unfold in ways we cannot even comprehend right now. We will struggle and ache through things we did not anticipate, and we will laugh with all the laughter we have in us, and celebrate things we could have never imagined for our lives.
But it is this life we’ve been given, the choices that we’ve chosen and the only days and years that will make up our one small and precious life.
So, as that little whisper followed me into today, let me ask you: will you relinquish the comparison and critiques, and fully embrace who you are in this world? Will you own your decisions, and see the goodness and beauty you have in them, and not what you are missing in spite of them? Will you tell your story, your pain, your joy and live into the things you know you MUST do? Not because it will look like this persons story or not, but because it’s in you, and simply because it makes you sing.
Will you own your life?