Life is pain. Life is joy. Life is the laughs that we have with good friends, and the tears that we share with our closest allies. Life is the loss we feel in our darkest moments. Life is the wonder of a newborn child.
One thing life is not is a plan. Life doesn’t “DO” anything to us beyond the aging process. Life just is. When we want to find someone or something to blame, putting that burden on “life” is misdirected. It is up to us to deal with the events that happen while we’re living the best that we can. Whenever things get really really hard for me, and right now is definitely one of the most difficult and challenging periods of my life, I like to think back to a scene in the movie The Grey:
Ottway: Do something. Do something. You phony prick fraudulent motherfucker. Do something! Come on! Prove it! Fuck faith! Earn it! Show me something real! I need it now. Not later. Now! Show me and I’ll believe in you until the day I die. I swear. I’m calling on you. I’m calling on you!
[receives no response]
Ottway: Fuck it. I’ll do it myself.
Ottway, at the end of his rope finally calls out to life, to a deity, to anything to save him from his situation. In the middle of nowhere, out in the wilderness, all alone, he assumes that if there is anything out there listening, surely it would show itself now when he has nothing to lose.
His cries for help go unheeded. Nothing appears. Nothing speaks to him. We’ve all been here more times than we want to think about. On our knees, out of breath, choking on the tears.
At this point in life we have two choices. The first is to give up. Giving up takes many forms, but the most common seems to be just not doing anything. Sitting around feeling sorry for ourselves. Accomplishing nothing and never risking anything again. This route never leads anywhere. Once we’re done moping around, nothing is better and we’ve lost precious time. Our time here is limited. This is time we can never get back.
The second choice is to just take action. Realize that the loss is real, that the problem is real. Realize that nothing is out to get you, this is just the way things turned out. Realize that in most situations there are others making decisions outside of your control that will directly affect your happiness, and all the bargaining in the world can’t stop it.
Life is. It just IS. Nothing more, and nothing less. This life is your one single certain opportunity. Your life happened against cosmically incredible and unfavorable odds. THAT is your gift. THAT is your break, and that is the only break you should ever expect. Do something with it. Make it your way.