For the first time that I can ever remember, I’m actually very happy to be wrong.
Now, bear with me here. I haven’t lost all of my marbles. Yet.
The moment of realization in which one sees their own error gives way to one of two responses: that of complete and utter devastation, or that of complete and utter comfort.
You’ve heard it before. In Psychology, we call it “fight or flight”. My friends call it “withdrawal or embracing”. I’m still not sure what to call it, but by golly, I do recognize it now.
Two weeks ago, I was absolutely sure that change in my life needed to take place. And change was necessary. That much was right, in the way that everything is right or wrong within a spectrum rather than clearly drawn boundaries.
Certainty often produces a kind of vacuum. One writer that I am particularly fond of, Chuck Klosterman, states that “if you want to truly deduce how intelligent someone is, just ask this person how they feel about any issue that doesn’t have an answer; the more certainty they express, the less sense they have.”
In those moments two weeks ago where I decided that it was time to cut ties, I was completely devoid of any sense whatsoever. On paper, it made so much sense. In prayer, it made so much sense. During my walk, it made so much sense. But when I finally did it, and approached those people in the hallways days later, it stopped making any sense.
At was at that point that I decided to apologize. And from those conversations, from those moments, I hit a very large epiphany that I have been needing to hit for the longest time. My wonderful therapist, Jaymie, has been urging me to do so forever. But I have too proud, or too blind, to see it.
I need to open up.
And I have been doing so! At first, it was the most embarrassing thing, because there was all this baggage in those previous friendships that I thought I had to deal with. But that was before I realized that God was bigger than that baggage, and that it is not my duty to deal with it. It is my duty to deal with those people as they are in that moment.
I was right, I suppose, in a way. Right in the way that my friendships needed to change, as they desperately needed to. Walking away is not the kind of change that was needed, however. The focus of those friendships needed to change.
Rather than my tendency to keep others at a safe distance and try to extract what I selfishly could out of those friendships, I needed to focus on what I could give in those friendships.
So often, I am focused on what I can get out of something. This is why I second-guess myself, and plan every possibility as though life is a chess game, so that I end up with the best possible outcome. This is why I do things because I am single and lonely. Because I am worried about the future. Because I am worried about the now. Because I am worried.
But in a moment of rebuilding one of my broken friendships, I was talking and realized, that doesn’t matter anymore. My happiness? My future? No.
My life is not about me. My life is about what is in front of me.
And in that moment, worries about the future, about my “happiness” disspated. And in that moment I found true happiness.
Often still, I worry that this joy will slide and that “real life” will slip in and I will revert back to the way that I was before. And that is certainly possible. But it is that fear that makes me act in a manner that ensures this will happen.
In focusing on what God has directly placed in front of me, and the next step to take rather than what lay at the end of the road, those fears subside.
And I find joy. I find peace.
And though this is a daily thing; though this is something that I will have to strive towards as long as I am living, it is something worth living for. Worth living for.
It is for this reason that I am thankful. Unbelievably thankful. As thankful as I have been in the longest time ever. My hope is that you may find some truth in the truth I have been discovering lately, and become more thankful yourself. What are you thankful for today?