I think we make a mistake when we see our lives as a series of incidents on a straight line. A lot of people see their life line as bastardly crooked, or they feel that it is forever slopping up. No peaks. All valleys. Never and end in sight. But no matter how you see your life, I think that looking at it as a series of accidents and happenstance along a linear path misses the vitality of what it means to be human. It distorts happiness and makes it more difficult to find meaning in our lives.
I don’t believe life is linear. Nothing in this life shows itself to be moving a long a straight line. We are all just floating in a wide, infinite open space, with only the gravitational pull of our blessed sun to trick us into believing otherwise. Life is is not a series of stamp cards, although the way we’ve been taught and live our lives certainly paints that picture.
We learn early on to try hard and do well at school, and draw within the lines. We get addicted to that ‘Great Job’ sticker and learn to abhor mistakes and failures. We become determined to do better next time. We keep going for twelve years. We get on the honour roll. Some of us do it again for four or ten more years and even if you’re done with school earlier than most, you do the same thing for a school like factory, or a boss who expects a well done job.
All this to find some well paying work work, to find love and be miserably happy.
The miserably happy is a play on words of course.
None of anything that we ever do leads us down a linear path. Our failures and mistakes, and little dirty roads that we get seduced to take along the way, sometimes lead us to great happiness and bring us immeasurable meaning.
You may not want to be a mother at sixteen years old, but by the time you have a sixteen year old, you may think to yourself that there is nothing more rewarding than knowing and nurturing that beautiful soul. I’m just hyper speculating here. Throwing things out to make you think, but do muse a little bit about the non linear paths your life has taken you and think about what it means and if some of it has not been worth it.
Everything is interconnected. We live in one uncountable and unbelievable universe. We never act in a vacuum. Everything we do matters. It moves things this way or that, and we are impacted by other people moving this way or that. It is one beautiful celestial dance. There is no finish line. There is no score card. The act of living is purposeful when we spend our time living.
I know how all of this sounds but it is all true. You need to expand your mind and see the opportunity and possibility in everything. This will not make your pain go away. It will not lessen your mental struggles, but to know that everything has a purpose, that every event and action can have a meaning and a purpose, should make you weightless.
There is nothing to do. Nothing to get to. Nothing to achieve. That is a linear path.
There is much to experience. Much to savour and much to be.
That is a universal path. A meaningful path. A path less traveled that you might consider taking.
Cover photo generously provided by photographer Dino Reichmuth via unsplash.com