“Anyone or anything that does not make you alive is too small for you.” David Whyte
Poet/philosopher David Whyte reminds us that life is short, although that thought is typically one held most dearly by those of us entering our “fourth quarter.” I am becoming, ever more strongly, a believer that for me to be at my best I must feel “alive.” Then I wonder, what does it mean to be alive? Such a big question.
What Does It Mean to Stay Alive?
I think that “to be alive” has much to do with the ways I… (1) understand myself, (2) interact with others, (3) pay attention to the world around me, and (4) involve myself in the particularities of each day. To be alive is to be keenly awake to everydayness as well as to mystery. Or perhaps it might be better said to be awake to the mysterious everydayness of life.
Obviously, Staying Alive is much easier to say than to do. In our world of never-ending distractions, Staying Alive requires intention to do so. And that means setting aside (or even ignoring) the kinds of distractions that lead to a stale mode of existence.
The Mysterious Everydayness of Life
And so I return to the thought of intending to “stay awake to the mysterious everydayness of life.” Every day I am offered the opportunity to revel in the awesomeness of the ordinary. I need only to grab that opportunity with gusto and, as I do so, refrain from paying attention to the noisy and impetuous voices of small things (or small people even).
Personally I think I wish to Stay Alive by removing myself (whenever possible) from situations (or people) that make me feel small.
How About You?
Your choice today and every day is to ravish beauty and goodness while rejecting or withdrawing from anything that might make you feel less than.
NOTE: Just be careful. As you do so, ponder deeply the things that make you alive. Two things that make you very alive are kindness and compassion. Like my friend Dena Crowder recently wrote, “Make kindness your religion and compassion your vow.” Remember, what you choose defines you and what you choose can make you whole… or make You small.
And sometimes (well, many times) that choice can be desperately challenging.
Your Intentional Choice
Stay Alive or Allow Small Things to Interfere
Photo courtesy of Hector Pertuz at istockphoto