“God comes to you disguised as your life…” Paula D’Arcy
“To be alive is the biggest fear humans have. Death is not the biggest fear we have; our biggest fear is taking the risk to be alive- the risk to be alive and express what we really are. Just being ourselves is the biggest fear of humans. We have learned to live our lives trying to satisfy other people’s demands.”
Don Miguel Ruiz, The Four Agreements: A Practical Guide to Personal Freedom
Why am I so hard on myself for being human? Why do I feel like it’s not enough to simply be in this body? Why do I feel the need to escape it so often? Why do I feel like I need to be doing something more and be involved in what truly matters?
Why the guilt when I give my time and energy to activities other than weighty issues that either carry forth an eternal message or contribute to the greater good in some way?
Whenever I am immersed in my regular tasks, I am simultaneously swatting away the annoying thought that I could be spending my time better…this is not making any lick of difference in the world. Which inevitably leads to the assumption- my life must be insignificant.
Whether it’s wiping up crumbs from dinner, stacking plastic plates on the drying rack, sorting my children’s clean socks and underwear, reading a book before dawn, watering my plants, whipping up cookie dough bites, checking the mail, sorting the recycle, feeding the cats, taking a hot shower, or picking plump juicy blackberries from the abundance of vines in our back yard, I always hear the old, familiar whisper: Is this all there is to my life?
How is it that I am so quick to believe that to be someone I need to tap out of the run-of-the-mill routines of a regular day?
I know the hum-drum rhythms that carry me through the course of 24 hours don’t appear grand at first glance. They taste of vanilla ice-cream, with no sprinkles or runny caramel sauce, and only a touch of subtle sweetness.
But I am hear to declare the commonplace deserves more attention, don’t you think?
I thought I’d have life wrapped around my finger at thirty-eight, but oddly enough I am only more befuddled than ever. Clarity, as I am realizing, does not come with age, there only more questions surrounding my supposed sparkly purpose here on earth.
I feel exhausted and depressed when I attempt to ramp up my regular life, reach for more pretentious influence, or hype up my workaday flow to make it seem like I am accomplishing stuff.
Coming to accept the quiet normalcy and profound delight of simply being alive on this earth, instead of always climbing the ladder of what we deem success or achievement might be one radically subversive act we can take right now, especially in a culture blatantly teaching us to lean into bigger, better, more compelling dreams.
When I dismiss the daunting, heroic business of entering into a normal day with gusto, secretly wishing that I could we be swept up into something more “important,” I notice how the gap widens between me and my true self, my Creator, this Earth, what I love, and the souls around me.
This mindset causes me to feel absolutely pathetic about picking shiny, ripe blackberries from the vine- we’re in the middle of pandemic for pete’s sake! Aren’t there more pressing matters to be a part of?
In sheer rebellion, I pop the perfectly ripe blackberry in my mouth instead. There is no one around me to offer applause or take notice, yet I know I am not alone because all creation sings with me- THIS IS LIFE.
Savor the sweetness.
You have permission to pick the blackberries in a pandemic like it’s your sole purpose on this planet. There might be no more poignant or prophetic act than giving ourselves fully to the reality in front of us. Enter in and enjoy it, friends!
A Guide To Picking The Perfect Blackberry:
- Wear long pants and sleeves to keep pricks to a minimal, sometimes the best ones are just a bit of reach.
- Look beneath the leaves and beyond your nose, the luscious ones often grow undercover or just out of sight.
- Notice how the ripest berries have a slight sheen, they sparkle on the vine.
- Touch it lightly with your fingers, it should fall off without you having to pull hard.
- Savor the warm, sweet juice filling your mouth and let that be enough for now.
- Don’t feel like you need to go anywhere else. Hunt for the next berry without shame. Take in this experience of being human.