Does it Seem Too Heavy? Think Again.
(Read in less than :03)“I firmly believe that you live and learn, and if you don’t learn from past mistakes, then you need to be drug out and shot.”~ R. Lee Ermey
Friends, do you ever think that way when you judge yourself? It’s pretty heavy, isn’t it? But I still do. Sometimes it’s Groundhog Day, isn’t it? It’s bad enough to screw up and when we make the same mistake over and over again, it really bites. But I’m telling you, regret, like unforgiveness, is too big a load to bear. “You can’t carry the world on yer shoulders, broad as they are.”~ Jana Oliver
The opening quote is from R.Lee Ermey, a character actor. It’s pretty heavy. (But funny!) His most famous role was as Gunnery Sergeant Hartman in Full Metal Jacket, a movie I never saw. However, I did recognize his voice as the leader of the plastic Army men in Toy Story. So just maybe there’s a bit of humor in him and the remark was made with tongue in cheek. It does inspire hope.
Too heavy or an advantage?
You think I’m kidding? Nope. Last week I wrote about kintsugi, a Japanese philosophy/technique in which broken pottery is repaired using lacquer mixed with precious metal to fill the cracks. The repairs then become the most beautiful parts of the vessel. Stay with me here.
I just finished People of the Second Chance and it has changed me. I ate up every delicious page but the next-to-the-last chapter was the icing on the cake. The author, Mike Foster, grew up two decades after me so the examples he uses fascinate me. He explains things using the cartoons, music, and Superheroes of his youth.
It was often tragedy and wounds that made Superheroes who they became. For example, a bite from a radioactive spider gave rise to the character Spider-Man. Injury from an explosion and imprisonment made the victim craft his famous suit and become Iron Man. So what’s the point? Normal people transform. They become heroes because of, not in spite of, the tragic events of their past. What’s more, while we’re attracted to their strength, it’s their weaknesses that connect us to them and create the bond.
A whole new way to see things
I love these words from Chapter 12. “Your past does not disqualify you from having a huge impact on others. Your failures do not rob you of authority. Your losses do not make you weak……..Your checkered past is now an asset. Your failures resurface as wisdom. Your losses make you stronger.” Foster writes that our failings may actually become our unfair advantage. Wow.
We get better at life in the process of working through difficult circumstances. And that makes us better equipped to serve others. God is the ultimate kintsugi artist and uses broken things to make other things (and people) beautiful again. There’s no merit badge for beating ourselves up. Believe me, I’ve tried it. It’s far too heavy and unfulfilling.
“Many of us crucify ourselves between two thieves – regret for the past and fear of the future.”~Fulton Oursler
Don’t do it! I invite you to join me as a fellow second-chancer and hopester. Most exciting of all, let’s rewrite our not-so-perfect story and give it a happy ending! Join me in the amazing opportunity for the ultimate do-over. It’s life reimagined. You, v.2.
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