“The tragedy of life is not death but what we let die inside of us while we live.” Norman Cousins
Just like denial doesn’t work, neither does deadening parts of us that we don’t like, can’t accept, or can’t change. It’s damaging at best, deadly at its worst.
The last time I saw my friend, I pulled up a chair to his mahogany table to finalize paperwork for a house. I noticed he acted distracted and lifeless in contrast to his usual caring and outgoing nature. Even though I knew him well, I asked about his workload instead of his life. He said, “I’m tired, but who else is going to do all of this.”
He was tired of trying hard.
I thought several times about dropping by his office to check on him. I talked myself out of it, though, because I didn’t know what to say or how to explain why I was there. A few months later, he died.
At his funeral, I sobbed … partly because I missed him, partly because I empathized with him. While I helped him the prior year organize his office, we talked about family, faith, and free time. Even though there was truth to it, we joked about the gap being too big between how we lived day to day compared to how we wanted to live.
Most of us try hard to fill that gap.
If we fail, we deaden our pain with addictions like busyness, shopping, drinking, talking, gambling, arguing, and eating.
We deaden our pain with medication.
We deaden our pain with social media, television series, and online gaming.
“Trying hard” buries us alive. There is a way out, but it’s not about trying harder.
In This Together,
FYI: I’m blogging my book titled On The Other Side of Trying Hard: Healing, Happiness, and Holiness. Because these blog posts are a manuscript instead of stand-alone stories, some posts may leave you hanging. I hope you’ll hang in here with us anyway ‘cause a happy ending is coming. My blog post title includes the chapter title first. The phrase in parentheses is the subheading. I’m over-the-top grateful to have you here. I’d love to hear your reflections, questions, and comments.