believe that this way of living, this focus on the present, the daily, the tangible, this intense concentration not on the news headlines but on the flowers growing in your own garden, the children growing in your own home, this way of living has the potential to open up the heavens, to yield a glittering handful of diamonds where a second ago there was coal. This way of living and noticing and building and crafting can crack through the movie sets and soundtracks that keep us waiting for our own life stories to begin and set us free to observe the lives we have been creating all along without ever realizing it.I don’t want to wait anymore. I choose to believe that there is nothing more sacred or profound than this day. I choose to believe that there may be a thousand big moments embedded in this day, waiting to be discovered like tiny shards of gold. The big moments are the daily, tiny moments of courage and forgiveness and hope that we grab on to and extend to one another. That’s the drama of life, swirling all around us and generally I don’t even see it, because I’m too busy waiting to become whatever it is I think I am about to become. The big moments are in every hour, every conversation, every meal, every meeting.The Heisman Trophy winner knows this. He knows that his big moment was not when they gave him the trophy. It was the thousand times he went to practice instead of going back to bed. It was the miles run on rainy days, the healthy meals when a burger sounded like heaven. That big moment represented and rested on a foundation of moments that had come before it.I believe that if we cultivate a true attention, a deep ability to see what has been there all along, we will find worlds within us and between us, dreams and stories and memories spilling over. The nuances and shades and secrets and intimations of love and friendship and marriage an parenting are action-packed and multicolored, if you know where to look.Today is your big moment. Moments, really. The life you’ve been waiting for is happening all around you. The scene unfolding right outside your window is worth more than the most beautiful painting and the crackers and peanut butter that you’re having for lunch on the coffee table are as profound, in their own way, as the Last Supper. This is it. This is life in all its glory, swirling and unfolding around us, disguised as pedantic, pedestrian non-events. But pull of the mask and you will find your life, waiting to be made, chosen, woven, crafted.Your life, right now, today, is exploding with energy and power and detail and dimension, better than the best movie you have ever seen. You and your family and your friends and your house and your dinner table and your garage have all the makings of a life of epic proportions, a story for the ages. Because they all are. Every life is.You have stories worth telling, memories worth remembering, dreams worth working toward, a body worth feeding, a soul worth tending and beyond that, the God of the universe dwells within you, the true culmination of super and natural. You are more than dust and bones.You are spirit and power and image of God.And you have been given Today.
Shauna Niequist
I wanted, for so long, for someone to understand me better than I understood myself, to take control of me, to save me, to make it all better. I thought that the hardest part of a loving, mutually healing relationship would be showing my vulnerable, raw spots to a person, even though I'd been hurt so many times before. This has not been the hardest part. The actual hardest part has been realizing that no one, no matter how compassionate and kind they are, will say the perfect things always. Myself included. The hardest part has been learning to communicate what I need, to hear what others need, to tell others how to tell me what they need. Intimacy takes a lot of communication. We all have triggers. I don't know your triggers and you don't know mine. No matter how much I love or trust you, you cannot possibly know exactly the words I need to hear, the words I don't want to hear and the way I like to be touched. And how strange that we expect these things of each other. How strange and self-sabotaging, that we refuse to get into relationships and friendships with people unless they treat us in just that perfect way. We've been raised to want fairy tales. We've been raised to wait for flawless saviors to rescue us. But the savior isn't flawless and the savior is not coming. The savior is you. The savior is still learning. The savior is never done learning. The savior is a human being. Forget perfect. Forget flawless. And start speaking your truth. Start speaking what you want and how you want it. And start asking and listening, really listening, to what the people around you say. Maybe, then, we will stop abandoning and hurting each other. Maybe, then, there's hope for us.
Vironika Tugaleva
Hypocrisy—in other words, the practice of lying about lying—shields us from seeing ourselves as we are: a collocation of fragments that fit together as a biological unit but not as anything else, not as that ghost which has been called a self, a phantasm whose ecotoplasmic unreality we can never see through. By staying true to the lie of the self, the ego, we can hold onto the illusion that we will be who we are all our lives and not see our selves die a thousand times before our death. While some have dedicated themselves to getting to the bottom of how these parts create the illusion of a whole, this is not how pyramids are built. To get a pyramid off the ground takes a lot of ego—the base material of those stacks of stones that tourists visit while on vacation. Of course, a pyramid is actually a polyhedron, that is, a mathematical conception which pyramids in the physical world resemble . . . at least from a distance. The nearer one gets to a pyramid, the more it reveals itself to be what it is: a roughly pyramidal conglomeration of bricks, a composition of fragments that is not what it seems to be. This is also how it works with humans. The world around us encourages the build up of our egos—those pyramids of self-esteem—as if we needed such encouragement. Although everyone is affected by this pyramid scheme, some participate in it more than others: they are observably more full of themselves and tend to their egos as they would exotic plants in a hothouse. It helps if they can wear down the self-esteem of others, or simply witness this erosion. As the American novelist and essayist Gore Vidal said famously and often: It is not enough to succeed. Others must fail. None of this could work without the distance we put between what we are and what we think we are. Then we may appear to exist apart from our constituent elements. Self-esteem would evaporate without a self to esteem. As with pyramids, it is only at a distance that this illusion can be pulled off. Hypocrisy is that distance.
Thomas Ligotti