This, I have come to believe, is one aspect of the ongoing trek toward a good life: Daily daring to enter, in every moment and at every bend of the proverbial road, as far as it is humanly possible, the fullness of one’s life’s experience – both within one’s self and all that is triggered by external circumstances.
Joy and sorrow.
Comfort and pain.
Success and failure.
Clarity and perplexity.
Courage (or fortitude) and fear.
Faith (or confidence) and doubt.
And any and every other conceivable pair of contra-positional attributes of any and every given experience.
In a word, having and holding an attitude of radical openness; rebuffing nothing, receiving everything.
Here, for me, Jesus’ core teaching concerning the discipleship of self-sacrifice, when writ large in relation to all of life, applies: “Those who want to save their life will lose it, and those who lose their life for my sake will save it. What does it profit them if they gain the whole world, but lose or forfeit themselves?” (Luke 9.23-25).
I have discovered that if…when I seek to save myself (my self) from engaging my sorrows, pains, failures, perplexities, fears, and doubts, then I short-circuit, cut myself off from any deeper, truer knowing of life, my life. And, even more (as contrasting elements tend to highlight the sense and substance of each other), I know less about joy, comfort, success, clarity, courage, and faith.
And if…when I seek to lose myself (my self), giving myself over and into the fullness of my experience, then I am free in all of my living to believe in (to trust as real) who I am and who I am becoming.
© 2021 PRA
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