Life Is Not a Dress Rehearsal

Monday 7 January 2008

... or is it?

I can't think of an idea more inclined to make us strive - the kind of striving which costs humanity so dearly environmentally, culturally, emotionally and physically, as that which says we have to have it all sorted by the end of this life because this is all there is. When humans strive, we lose our vision. We need to lose our lives to save them.

If it is a dress rehearsal, it means we've got more time than we thought. If it is, and God isn't waiting at the end of it with a big stick to determine our eternal destinies based on some legal thing that nobody ever ever can live up to - then imagine the possibilities!

It would mean we can relax a bit more. Breathe a bit deeper. Let those knots inside settle down a bit. It would mean we could live more wastefully - focussed on others just as much as ourselves.

It would mean we could lie around a bit more often and made cloud pictures.

It would mean we could make more art, listen to more music, do more inefficient aimless things.

It would mean God's in control. It would mean that our striving to reach our full and total potential, to be as fixed and shiny and unbroken as possible, doesn't end with the end of our lives here. Maybe God never meant it to.

It would mean that I can devote large blocks of time to things which seem unimportant, like writing stories. It would mean I could throw myself into life. It would mean I could fling myself off into the world and have adventures, and fall down, and get up again. It would mean we would be free to grow at our own pace.

I used to be suspicious of the whole concept of "pie in the sky when I die". It seemed to lead sometimes to people just hanging on by a thread until they got spirited away by God to play harps on clouds. And yet believing the best is yet to come hasn't equated like that for me. It is meaning that I am slowing down, doing the stuff that I never felt like I "had time for" before.

Like setting boundaries with people, getting healthier both physically and mentally. And learning to love myself more - even the fucked-up bits. Cause I can only love other people as much as I love myself.

Like I read in Andrea's little book of wisdom yesterday, when I love myself, I pick litter up off the street.

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