If you feel you’ve got it figured out, you don’t.
That attitude may provide comfort, stability—a way for you to look around at your walls, your possessions, and say—Boy, I’ve got it good. But this is only temporary. And your comfort level can quickly erode if you walk out into the real world believing you have the answers, or worse yet—that you can provide answers. From that, anxiety and frustration can grow.
This is natural. We don’t like to feel that we don’t have control. We don’t want to believe that our happiness can be affected by others. But it can. It is. And we let it happen. If our lives are defined by the expectations and roles of others, we will not be happy. Hard-lined views on adhering to structure and following the rules create turmoil. That’s probably why there’s so much unrest in the world.
Of course, there’s more goodness. More beauty, calm, and peace than most will ever recognize.
A sparrow lands behind me in the driveway as I brush snow from my car. It looks at me. Moves closer. I look at it. Move closer. Soon, we meet. As incredible as it sounds, I pet the bird, then pick it up. We speak silently to each other. It is perfectly fine, it says. It is not sick. It is only a bird. Being brave. It knows when to fly, when to stay. I’ll learn this lesson too, it says. Then it is gone. I look over my shoulder and there is my wife, watching through the big old window. I’m not sure how much she has seen, but it doesn’t matter. Nobody understands what is happening. And it is the scariest thing in the world.
Oh, what a mistake to assume. People don’t understand me. Nobody gets me.
As if I’m the only one that has clarity. Has special moments in this wide, wide world.
It’s just not true.
How many times have we dismissed them? And how much of that dismissal—ignorance—is because we’re not meant to know? If we knew what kept one’s blood red, imagine the power we would have. Consider the chaos. The love. Anything could happen.
But wait. Anything can and does and will continue to happen. That’s why it’s important to avoid the trickery of comfort. The quiet stifling nature of roles and expectations that prop up the structure we move within. It’s important to keep questioning. To watch, listen, and observe. To get out into the world on your own and with others. You will never have the same moment as another person, not even if you are in the same place at the same time, within the same experience. Because you are you. So, to expect others to understand you, to believe you, to know you is a tall task. And, it’s not fair.
They want to be heard and recognized. And they’re scared too. Maybe not all the time, but this moving from day to day isn’t always easy. Shit, indeed, does happen. And it’s important to remember others are at it as well. Doing whatever it takes to figure it out, get through, and be as prepared as possible for whatever, whenever it comes.
So, be happy with what you have but strive to be happy without it. Revel in the fact that loved ones and strangers are around you. Keeping watch. Closer than you think. More often than you know.
Maybe even looking out a big window on another a cold, winter day, having a bird moment of her own.