I continue to struggle with the doing/being balance of walking on this earth. Conversations I've had with people about what they 'do' keep floating through my head. We live in such a 'doing' world, a 'get-up-and-get-after-it' culture, and our worth seems chained to that single word. Do. What do you do? How are you doing? And yet, here I am, mostly inactive. My friend, the cement block, has something to do with it recently, but for the last several years, I've been more inactive than active. More about being than doing. And often find myself apologizing for that. Making excuses. Trying to drum up some kind of doing that makes sense in the world.
And yet I know, even as I drum up that 'doing', that that's mostly what it is--drummed up, cobbled up, made up from a whole lot of nothing. It occurred to me the other day that if I take the sharpest lens to my life, or perhaps I should say, the sharpest worldly lens, the light would shine on a whole lot of human failure and inadequacies. To spell it out: a decade of writing ending with an unpublished book. No career whatsoever that I might toot a horn about at any meet-and-greet party I'm likely to be at. In fact, no job that has paid more than "gee, thanks, you shouldn't have."
But here's the thing: I don't feel like a failure. Not even close. It simply isn't in me. Some would say it's because I'm optimistic by nature. Maybe. Others might say I'm too 'pie-in-the-sky' mystical. Perhaps. But I believe life is worth the living, that my life--bumps and bruises, cement-blocks-on-the-chest, monumental failures and all--is a gift. And I wake up every day glad for it. Now, I know people who feel like failures--some with far, far less reason than I have to feel so. In fact, I look at their lives and don't see a single real failure. And that's when I realize what real failure is. It isn't at all about doing. Or not doing. It's about something deeper, closer to the heart of a person. It's about being.
I know that some who feel worthless, who are keeping themselves alive by grit and determination against their instincts, have something wrong with the chemistry of their brains, the way those who are diabetic have something wrong with chemistry of their pancreases. And I feel for them. My intact, full-of-hope brain aches for them. But I also know the world does no one any service by telling us in letters written in script as large as the galaxy that we must perform, must do, in order to be valuable. This is a lie, and I rebuke it. We are--each of us is--valuable because we are. WE ARE. That's it. You. Are.. Valuable.
You were created in the exact image of God. There is no one else exactly like you, nor more important than you. Amen. Hallelujah.