On Life and Love

Live today like it’s your whole life.

Seneca

Most of us get it wrong.

We stick to “You only live once”, or “Live today as if it were your last”. Often, we end up being reckless and irresponsible. I am no exception to this, having spent weeks daydreaming about alternate realities. Is it a case of me not wanting my reality? Resisting what is? Refusing suffering and pain? Perhaps, and I’m still finding my way towards acceptance.

I have watched the live stream talk given by Sr. Miriam Heidland as she led the St. Mary Parish mission this year. Stumbling upon the event was no coincidence. A lot of truths were revealed but one thing that spoke to me was “my ache for an encounter with Christ”.  

As Sr. Miriam puts it, sometimes our desires and affections are disordered. We search in the wrong places. We prefer a quick fix. We refuse to accept the answers we don’t like to hear.  

But like that scene from the movie “Narnia” where the little girl was hoping to find another stream to drink from, and to which the lion replied, “There is no other stream”, our thirst will never be quenched until we brave going down a right path, however scary and difficult it would seem.

We all need saving. 

For me, such a message is even more profound as I write this during the season of Lent. We recycle sins, bad habits, negative thoughts, and corrupted intentions. Our struggle against these things seems to go on forever. We agonize in defeat, we lose hope and we lose sight of the good. Indeed, when we cannot imagine a brighter future for ourselves, our past is bound to happen again and again.

How do we move forward?

It’s time to let go of the reins. 

We kept driving this carriage as if we know where we ought to go. We decide on things before seeking counsel. We treat each day carelessly as if there’s more. We pursue what’s unnecessary and postpone what is. If we go on like this, our happiness will always be shallow, and our lives would feel as if it never really mattered when the opposite is true.

We need to step into prayer and trust. 

We begin by acknowledging where we are and who we are at this moment, and who we desire to be– a better version of ourselves, the realization of our highest possibility. We need to lay bare the good and ugly parts of our lives, the things we’re proud of, and the things we bury in the darkest places and allow God’s grace to seep through our cracks. After all, He promised to never leave us broken but to make us whole. Our story doesn’t reach the end until we are healed in the broken places.

We need to be receptive, fully taking in what is freely given to us. 

In my life and yours, this could mean vulnerability- embracing every bit of moment we get, knowing and fully believing that God is there at every stage handing seeds of love, mercy, and healing. 

Our heart gets broken into a million pieces each time we experience pain in suffering, a deep hunger for beauty, and an ache for love. But it is in these moments when hearts bleed out that WE can love the most. When you think about that, you’ll see a different kind of opportunity, one that’s scary but fulfilling to embrace.

Not yet doesn’t mean not ever. Let’s find strength in knowing that it does get better and that every ache, longing, and pain we experience in this life will never go to waste.

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