Tuesday, February 19, 2008

Take it easy

Something that's come up in several conversations lately is the belief that it's more virtuous to pursue the things that are harder for us than the things that come easily to us.

An example from my own life was the choice to be a stay-at-home-mother. It was absolutely harder for me to run a home myself than it would have been to have a job and a housekeeper, but I had accepted the idea that being a SAHM was better. Everyone and everything around me reinforced the idea that staying home with my baby was the best thing to do and that I would be a substandard mom if I didn't. My own mother loved staying at home and running a house, so maybe I thought that was the only way a mom should be.

But I tell ya, I went nuts. Within a few years, I simply self-destructed, blowing apart both my home and my marriage. Climbing out of that mess, I instead opted for a situation that included full-time work for me and a nanny for the kids. A SAHM friend of mine said at one point, "Maybe some people *should* keep working."

As hard as juggling a job and kids as a single parent might sound, it was easier for me than staying home. And, I think I turned out to be a pretty good mom regardless.

I believe now that doing the thing we love, rather than the thing that's hard, is our mission. There are no extra brownie points waiting for us in heaven because we forced ourselves to do the hard thing. In fact, I think we can tell we're doing what's right for us by how easy it is, not by how hard.

If we bounce out of bed in the morning, energized and eager for the day ahead, chances are we've found the activity that fits us best. If we drag out of bed and find every task irritating, forcing ourselves to do the deed doesn't make us any more virtuous.

Of course, there are things we have a duty to do, but I guess what I'm really advocating today is not to create a life for yourself that is entirely duty or obligation, but is also filled with a good proportion of what you love, of what comes easily to you.

The thing that comes easily to you is most likely the very thing the Divine wants to express through you. Don’t truncate that expression with a false sense of obligation or a misguided attempt to be virtuous. The Divine needs you to do what you love.


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1 Comments:

At 2/20/2008 10:40:00 AM, Blogger Kate said...

Amen! If desire is prayer, and prayer is God's gracious means, then as A+B=C and C-B=A follows...desire is God's gracious means for, as Mary Baker Eddy says, "accomplishing whatever has been SUCCESSFULLY done for the Christianization and health of mankind"....

I agree with you sooooo completely on this! To quote you back "The Divine needs you to do what you love"!!!

Thanks Laura!

 

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