Reading various books over the last few days, watching my way through season 6 of Buffy, journaling and striving to set aside time on a daily basis for prayer, Bible and reflection. All of which has lead to me finally realising something I aught to have worked out a long, long, long time ago: life is hard.
We get taught that its easy, that we just need to yearn for the stars and believe; and it'll all come together. But it's not and it won't.
Life is hard; and until we wake up and smell the perspiration, we're bound to end our days empty, unfulfilled, and wondering how we were cheated out of our birthright.
Of course, we often hear from wise sources that life does actually involve some toil and heartbreak; but for some reason that escapes me, we always seem to run back to our soft lives and buy into the comforting lie that we have somehow 'arrived'. We all know that anything worthwhile in this life requires work but rarely, it appears to me, do we actually embrace that fact and seek out that which is worthy of our life's work.
Don't get me wrong: there are people out there who achieve their desires, who have vast ambitions and are able to muster the drive to succeed in those ambitions. But how many of those who achieve greatly are driven by fear, or pride, or an overweening self-interest? While there are, by the grace of God, true altruists out there, the majority of people are either A) driven by their pathologies and demons to do 'big things', or else B) are unable to get a grip on this thing called 'life' that seems [as demonstrated by the poor tortured souls in category A)] easy, but actually requires more work than their comfort-induced apathy will allow them to do.
Maybe this is just a first world problem. Maybe it's just my problem. I don't know. Nevertheless, if life is hard and not easy, then it is only by embracing the truly difficult things that we are alive - and not merely using up oxygen.
(Now if only someone would teach me how to do the hard stuff; 'cos it's, you know, hard!)