“Life sucks!” “I hate my life.” “Things always go wrong for me.” “My life is so boring.”
Have you heard people say these things? I’ll bet you’ve said them yourself. I’ve certainly felt them. But what if you weren’t alive? You couldn’t see anything, feel anything, hear, or taste or smell or know. A robot can hear and see after a fashion, it can move, but it will never feel anything. It’s not alive.
I’m sure the story of Pinocchio is familiar to you. A puppet without strings who can walk and talk; hey, it sounds like a dream come true. He can’t drown. (Or he shouldn’t be able to since he can’t breathe.) It could take a while for him to wear out and he’s fixable. As long as he stays away from fire, heat and cold won’t bother him, anyway. (I had to say it.) So why is he so desperate to be a real boy?
Not that real is a matter of what you’re made of, it’s not. Real is a matter of love. Love is life. And a boring life is one not filled up with love, a bad life is one that doesn’t let love in, and a life you hate is one you haven’t realized the power of love to transform. Being brave and truthful is all very well, but not until you’re unselfish does it mean anything. You can be dying to be something you aren’t (such as a person when you’re a wooden puppet,) but it’s not till you stop complaining and make the most of what you’ve got that you’ll ever change. We’re put in our form for a reason. It may not even be the right form for us, but we are to learn what we can from it.
Your body isn’t what makes you real, it’s your mind. If you are capable of choice than you are already real. But you may not know it. Hence, we don’t taste and see and hear and feel, we just sit around and act bored. Or depressed. Or both.
Suffering is what makes us become more real. You can be a real thing but not be alive. (We use the word real so often, it has different meanings.) When we suffer it forces us to feel and to prioritize, and that’s when we understand what really matters.
If we let love in, and choose to keep it, then we begin to wake up. We start to see that life is beautiful and exciting. Have you ever just been thankful that you could breathe? Or walk? Or see? If you can’t feel thankful yet, than try blindfolding yourself and walking around for an hour, or tying one arm behind your back, or moving on one leg. Or even just try imagining what that would be like. Imagine if you couldn’t move your limbs. Chances are you know or have known someone who’s been in that position. Try something wacky and stand in front of an inanimate object and tell yourself all the things that you can do that it can’t. Take a bite of food and be glad you have taste buds; go outside and smell a plant and be glad you have a nose and don’t have to use your feet like a fly. I’ll bet you’ll crack yourself up thinking of all the goofy things you can do. And that’s good because laughter makes you smarter. I’ll close with a well known scripture anyone would like. “I will praise You, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made; marvelous are your works, and that my soul knows very well.” (Psalm 139:14)