REFLECTION: “To be or not to be…”

 

In our younger years, friends and family often asked what we would like to be when we grew up.  More often than not, our answer revealed what we engaged in and enjoyed the most in play.  Without a doubt, the vocation we vocalized was the area we excelled in and we believed we were the “best”.  It didn’t matter what others thought, the key was that we were able to be.

 

As season after season flew by our way, our “be” no longer solely reflected “me”… Instead, our “be” became “we”.  Layers upon layers of ideals and dreams began to pile on us, but they no longer were ours alone.  Many belonged to others.  Our “being” began to be compared with others and we began to be evaluated based on standards most fitting for the majority, but which at times, didn’t suit our “being”.  Labels, multiple corrections and reprimands were put upon us so as to mould us to the ideal and standards of others, while the unique beauty of our “be” slowly faded and we only caught glimpses of it as its beauty periodically caught a ray of light.

 

Perhaps, like some, our “be” has diminished to a point where we wonder if there is any meaning left in “being”.   I’ve been there several times, especially during the horrible bouts of depression.  During those times, there appeared to be no face to my “be”.  I felt like an invisible spirit imprisoned in a broken, fleshly body.  Agony and fear kept me company as I tried to “escape” the bottomless spiral of emptiness and loneliness which was then my reality.  With each bout, I repeatedly toyed with the word “human being” and with each bout, I struggled with it because, eventually, there was nothing left in my “be”-ing.

 

To “be”.  The definition suitable to this context is to “exist”.  I was merely existing.  I was breathing, I was talking, I was thinking…but I wasn’t truly living.  My daily existence comprised mainly of uncontrolled anxiety and fear.  My life line was knowing that God existed and knowing that many continued to pray for me.  I was told that He loved me but the medication and symptoms of the disease kept Him from MY reach.  I no longer felt His presence.  I no longer felt His comforting touch.  And yet, I received enough grace so I could hold on to His promise that “Neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.”(Romans 8:39)

 

If hell is the absence of God, I was existing in hell on planet Earth.  Those were the darkest nights of my soul and I would never ever wish it on another.  I shiver thinking of the possibility of existing for eternity in His absence.  I am not sure why, perhaps God enjoys drama, but He exemplified this point further in a morning shower.  Already filled with a heavy dose of anxiety and fear, I was clinging on to God as much as was humanly possible and then I remembered blacking out as I said, “I don’t want to loose You too.”

 

I am ever so thankful that God cannot be lost.  Whether we believe in Him or not;  whether we can feel His hand or not, He still exists.  Our faith or lack of it; our sense of His presence or lack of it do not define Him.  As He mentioned to Moses, “I am who I am.”  (Exodus 3:14)

 

Thankfully, who we are as a being is a partial definition of who He is.  Why? Because we were created in His image.  Because He IS love, we are also defined in love.

 

Our consummation in our mother’s womb was not by chance.  God created us for a specific reason and we each have a unique role which no other can perform on our behalf.  We have been blessed with specific gifts and we are called to cultivate them and to use them in this world.  Will we allow others to mould us to what they want us to be?  I hope not.  May God strengthen our inner (wo)man so we can stand strong and be the very best of who He created us to be.

 

How we fulfill our mission in life is dependent on whether we invite God, our Creator, to partake in it.  Life will be tough.  Trials and heart aches will come.  Although He won’t take us out of our difficulties, if we are willing to let Him be a part of our lives, He hands us grace after grace so we can endure and find meaning.  He brings deep, inner joy and peace and He brings powerful reason to our “being”.  How do I know?  I look at my own “being” and I realize that He has allowed our paths to cross so that together, our combined “beings” can make a greater difference in this world.  Thank God for the grace to be…

 

God bless,

 

Melissa – January 25, 2013 1:59 p.m.

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