From time to time, as I am working hard to get out of my own way, the words of Henry David Thoreau creep into my subconscious.
Live deliberately. On purpose. With a purpose. With goals. With faith. With belief that it all matters. Not just in this world, but in eternity.
There are countless things in this life that are running out of control.
Last week in church, I held the hand of a woman who is trying to establish her life here in the United States while her family originates half a world away. I know very little about her, but I cried with her as she was enduring the loss of 6 family members who had all died in a car accident. Out of her control. Immeasurable pain. No words. Just prayer that she arrive safely to be with her remaining family.
Then there is my internet friend in Australia, whose daughter has endured more brain surgeries than I can count. This week things went badly. The surgery was aborted. They had to make a new plan. Her daughter- beautiful, 20ish, and full of life.
And another story I follow closely, of an acquaintance whose mom became septic in December after routine surgery. The trials cause my heart to ache.
We could all list stories here. Heck, I could go on for pages, the old friend whose brother is battling cancer… and so on.
I could fill this page with the struggles of my daughter this week. Battling the demon that is Cowden’s Syndrome – and whatever else has crept into her body to accompany it. I could write about the nights spent holding, and wishing, and praying that the pain be gone, or that God help us make some sense of her agony. I could continue in frustration about the thyroid hormones all askew. And the general lack of knowledge that greets us at most facilities. But I won’t. At least not today.
Today I am reflective about Thoreau’s words. Today I am thinking about what it means to live deliberately.
I can not control tragedy.
I can not control pain.
I can not control sickness.
I can not control sadness.
I can not control life’s twists and turns.
I can not control the course of Cowden’s Syndrome or any other aspect of our lives.
No matter how badly I want to. I can’t.
And, I also can’t make sense of most of it.
So, I have a choice.
I can sit here and mull it over. I can feel everyone’s hurt and pain. I can reflect on the unfairness of it all – or I can live deliberately.
I choose to hug my husband. Because I don’t do that enough.
I choose to rub a dog’s belly. Because it’s good for both of us.
I choose to eat well, and get and stay as healthy as I can.
I choose to be involved in passionately sharing my love for good nutrition and the products helping me find it.
I choose to take a deep breath when I am stuck in traffic.
I choose to deliberately try and turn lemons into lemonade.
I choose to use my grief over the loss of my loved ones, and channel my energy into the most positive outlets I can find.
I choose to get involved in raising awareness – of Cowden’s Syndrome and other RARE diseases.
I choose to get involved in things I feel passionate about, and not in things that bring me down.
I choose to advocate tirelessly for my daughter, and any other that I can help along the way.
I choose to always make sure I have an extra spoon for my daughter – or a friend in need.
I choose to laugh – at myself as needed!
I choose to pray.
I choose to be a friend.
Because to live deliberately doesn’t mean life will be easy. It doesn’t mean life will go well, or the way we want it to. It means making a choice to find what you can, dig deeply for the beauty that is abundant in the joys, but also hiding in the sorrows.
To live deliberately doesn’t mean I won’t be sad, or mad. It means I will have ALL the feelings – on purpose. Because to truly appreciate life I must experience all things.
I choose to do one thing I enjoy every single day.
And today I choose to take a walk.
How will you live deliberately today?