What Our Life Is

So easily, society can make us misconstrue what our life is.

Our life is not the business cards in our pocket, the money in the bank, awards on the shelves. Our life is not all those things we’re told to strive for.

Our life is nothing more and nothing less than what we show up for.

They say that 80% of life is showing up, but what I’m driving at is a little different. What I mean is that our life is the sum total of the things we have shown up for.

The minutes of writing, drawing, piano practice we show up for each day. The protests we stood at and causes we made time for, our friends’ moments of need, the dance performance on a cold, wet night, work that’s fulfilling - and if it’s not, showing up to the process of finding what would be fulfilling.

And showing up for ourselves. We must show up for ourselves.

For me, that’s showing for the things I need to give myself every day so I can give of myself to the day (sleep, stillness, morning walks, some amount of silliness). And for the things I do for no other reason than they open up my soul, which is one of the best reasons to do anything.

We don’t need to show up for everything. We can’t. And if we try, we will feel the overwhelm of busy.

We do, though, want to show up for what matters to us, since it’s so common to be present for things that don’t matter to me - my phone, say, and not be present for things that do matter to me - the person in front of me, say.

But the more we show up for what matters to us, the more full our days will feel. Not with the overwhelm of busy, but with the richness of meaning.

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