Whoever fights monsters should see to it that in the process he does not become a monster. And if you gaze long enough into an abyss, the abyss will gaze back into you.― Friedrich Nietzsche
The abyss is life and living it well. We are called to live, but how should we live? It’s an eternal question with answers as varied as leaves on a tree.
The song “Lean On Me” comes to mind:
Sometimes in our lives, we all have pain.
We all have sorrow, but if we are wise,
we know there’s always tomorrow.
We have trials in this life. There are some things no one escapes, regardless of comfort or want, material possessions, wealth, or whether living in a modern society or a third-world country.
They are our beasts until we wrestle them into understanding. Once we understand them they are just monsters who creep into thoughts as we sleep. We see them in our dreams or they keep our eyes from closing as we toss and turn.
We grow weary instead of finding rest.
Who am I?
If you haven’t asked yourself this question you aren’t human. It begins early in life with this question: Who am I and what do I want to be when I grow up?
As you move through junior high and high school, escuela secondaria, boarding school, college, everyone asks himself or each other:
What do you want to be when you grow up?
The trouble is that you’re not grown up yet and you have to make a life choice that you are stuck with, at least for a period of time. Maybe you have a change of want, need, or desire. You reinvent yourself in your 30’s, 40’s, retirement, or beyond.
What you want to be has changed for any number of reasons, or out of necessity.
It leads to…
- what am I doing with my life and does it make sense?
- is what I’m doing in line with my purpose?
- are my gifts being utilized?
- are my talents maximized?
- does who I wanted to be in my youth make sense as an adult?
- is it time for a change?
Money matters and what we think about money also matters. It is a means to live and buy necessities, but what does it mean?
What does money mean and how do we spend it?
If there’s an abundance it can mean:
- material possessions
- extended education
If there’s a lack it leaves one wondering:
- how to pay bills
- where the next meal is coming from
- how to make a car repair
- will the car get you to/from work
- how to pay rent/find shelter
- how to clothe yourself and your family
- how/where do we feel safe?
What we think about money and how we use it matters. It is a reflection of who and where we are in life.
Do you/I use money well?
We all carry baggage and relationships are some of the heaviest baggage we carry as we travel through life.
- how were you parented?
- how do you parent?
- do you have a good friend you can call in the middle of the night?
- is there someone you would drop everything to help and would do the same for you?
- do your relationships taint your view of the world or accent it positively?
More from “Lean On Me”:
Lean on me.
I’ll be your friend.
I’ll help you carry on for it won’t be long ’til I’m gonna need somebody to lean on.
Just call on me Brother, when you need a hand.
We all need somebody to lean on.
The faith you do or don’t have. We all believe in something. Whether you believe in a deity or not, you believe in something and it shapes who you are and how you see the world.
An introspective question:
What do you believe in and why?
The answer shapes who you are. It is worth exploring.
It all leads to this…
- am I happy?
- what is happiness?
- what does it take to be happy?
- a lot of money and possessions or simplicity of both?
Whether or not you are happy brings us full circle to this…
Am I enough?
Do you know fundamentally who you are?
Is it enough?
Wrestle with these beasts long enough and you’ll figure out how to tame them into monsters who appear only once in a while. Beasts become monsters you’ve tamed enough to love, at least on occasion.
Do you have beasts or monsters? How will you tame them? Is it possible to love them?
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