Living with Intention or Wandering?

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There seems to have been a grand movement toward the “living with intention” ideology. Of course, every generation believes that they are the first ones to think of it. Some use traditional philosophies or religious teachings to take the step toward living intentionally. Others reject the traditional, as it feels stifling and rigid with “should” or “don’t” around ever corner, guilt and shame being the motivator.

Some struggle for a lifetime, unable to see the joys of life through the challenges faced, often going to their graves feeling that their lives had no meaning or purpose, as defined by others’ definitions. Others accept their plights, taking on martyrdom as their sole purpose so others will not have to suffer the same unpleasantness and can live happily.

Then there seems to be those who have it all, exempt from the tragedies that have befallen others. They are born with societal standards of beauty, health, and success. If (when) they do find themselves in tough times, it is often hidden and rarely shared for fear of judgement by others or tarnishing the image they have worked so hard to maintain in their attempts to protect the status that they enjoy.

Each and everyone of us struggles. We humans are the ones who decide (and define) who are more deserving of those struggles.

Because we are bombarded by the definitions that others have piled upon us, it is often difficult to know what living intentionally means to us, as individuals. We are too busy trying to follow others’ acceptable versions of those intentions.

Some will choose a different path altogether, one that is seen as a wanderer or “dancing to the beat of a different drummer.” They are often rejected by family, friends, and society for being an  embarrassment. Years or decades later, they are still talked about behind their backs, and discussed as pitiful creatures who have not found their way.

The trouble with this is that the basis of these discussions is on very old perception, based on limited knowledge. It is often accompanied by an active refusal to seek new knowledge and understanding.

For the person who finds him- or herself as the wanderer, living without the intention that others think is acceptable, it is rather easy to fall into a habit of feeling unworthy or lost. It can be a challenge to find the meaning and purpose.  Perhaps, it is not in finding it; rather, in recognizing it when it shows up.

In the last few days, I have experienced some of those recognizable moments, which are evidence that I am, indeed, living with intention.  I will share more of this in my next post.

Until then, please remember J.R.R. Tolkein’s words describing Aragon…

All that is gold does not glitter,
Not all those who wander are lost;
The old that is strong does not wither,
Deep roots are not reached by the frost.
From the ashes a fire shall be woken,
A light from the shadows shall spring;
Renewed shall be blade that was broken,
The crownless again shall be king.
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Reference:

 Tolkien, J. R. R. (1954), The Fellowship of the Ring, The Lord of the Rings, Boston: Houghton Mifflin (published 1987), “Strider”, ISBN 0-395-08254-4

Photo credits:  Public domain photos via Pixabay

Copyright:  Author, Coral Levang, 2016. All rights reserved. May be used with permission and proper citation.

 

 

 

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Lessons of Winter Solstice

According to WebProNews, “It happens every year between December 20th and the 23rd, the first day of winter – the Winter Solstice…” when the “sun reaches its most southerly declination of -23.5 degrees…when the North Pole is tilted 23.5 degrees away from the sun.”

This year it happens on Tuesday, December 22nd, at 04:48 UTC, which is 8:48 PM MondayPacific Time (PT) here in the Northwest United States.

So today marks the shortest day and longest night of the year. With all the hustle and bustle of the upcoming holidays, I am not sure that most even pay attention to this fact.

For some of us, Winter Solstice is a day of hope.

Both literally and figuratively, I am one that likes light. Though I am not much of a sun worshiper, I do like it to stay light longer into the evening. I also like to see what I am facing, so that I can prepare for what is to come.

Light feels like a smile upon my soul. Knowledge feels the same to me.

Tomorrow will shine just a bit more light than it did today. I am hopeful that I will also be open to learn a bit more than I knew yesterday.

I am grateful for Winter Solstice and the lesson it teaches me each year.

“We can easily forgive a child who is afraid of the dark; the real tragedy of life is when men are afraid of the light.” ~Plato

Copyright © 2015 Coral Levang

Why Me or Why Not Me? That Is the Question

question-25527_640I have had my moments in life of asking “What now?” or “Why me?” I am no different than others who have faced their share of challenges, both large and small.

But the better question is: “Why NOT me?”

Does anyone deserve more or less than others in this life? What do any one of us have that is so much more special than others of us who have been put on this earth?

I am sure that each of us have someone or a number of other people in our lives who feel that they are the privileged ones. Or deserving. Or entitled to things, situations, money or a “break.”

These are the people who, when things are going in the manner they think they deserve, are happy. But the moment that something “bad” happens to them (whatever they deem that to be for the moment), the proverbial pity party starts. And when one does not accept the invitation to the party, there is hell to pay.

Then there are those who wish their misery on another. They take the “why-me-instead-of-him” approach, as if they can or should rank themselves higher on the “good person” list.

Many have grand successes in life, whether financially, socially, or professionally, etc., and  live in all their grandeur with so much dis-ingenuousness and narcissism , which really is unnecessary. Everyone tries to impress one another.

I have seen this in too many circumstances to not be able to recognize it. And these are the people who will so often judge, ignore, and discard others because they do not fit some image they have deemed the most worthy of their time, effort or love.

So back to the “what now” and “why me” questions…

Some people will be bombarded by life and feel as if they are entitled to a break, or to successes and other “good” things, dreaming of “if only…” Others who have already been fortunate to have lived the dream, feel they are the “chosen” and “worthy,” alive in their castle of self-importance. These two types of people are really not much different. They are simply at opposite ends of the spectrum.

Then there are those who get bombarded by the same challenges of life, who act differently. They do not feel shame and guilt for what is happening. They seek out others who are genuine and understanding. They take life by the horns and keep moving forward. They do not sit (long) on any pity pot that they might certainly be allowed more time than others, if they were to choose to do so.

They keep going…moving forward…living beyond.

They do not concern themselves with what the “pretty, perfect people” think of them any longer. They stop seeing the world through the eyes of those who will discard them without blinking an eye.

And they truly have learned the answer to “Why me?”

Why me? Because I am the one who can handle it. I am the one who will do it as gracefully as life will allow me to do it. I am the one who will continue to get up and keep moving when others weep at the loss of an illusion.

Why me? Because I am the one who will open my heart up to those of you who thought you were exempt from the crap that life dishes out. I am the one who will cry with you. Laugh with you. I will be the one who will accept you for who you are in spite of yourself.

Why me? Because I can. And I will.

And what next? More life and what it has to offer.

“Life will break you. Nobody can protect you from that, and living alone won’t either, for solitude will also break you with its yearning. You have to love. You have to feel. It is the reason you are here on earth. You are here to risk your heart. You are here to be swallowed up. And when it happens that you are broken, or betrayed, or left, or hurt, or death brushes near, let yourself sit by an apple tree and listen to the apples falling all around you in heaps, wasting their sweetness. Tell yourself you tasted as many as you could..”― Louise Erdrich

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© Copyright 2014 by Coral Levang – All Rights Reserved.  (Post originally written and published on Bubblews.com on April 6, 2014, but removed from site by author)