Every day, I listen to an internal radio station that generally plays one song repeatedly throughout the day. Today’s song was “Easy” by Beth Hart.
If your mother was like mine, you’ve heard the phrase, “Life isn’t easy.” I can safely say that she was right. Life isn’t easy. I was overwhelmed by many thoughts over the past few days and decided to sit down and make a list of things that aren’t easy.
- Mowing the jungle my lawn had become after a lot of rain and a little laziness.
- Cooking a dinner between activities, friends, work, and mowing the lawn.
- Watching someone you love make a mistake. And letting them.
- Watching your child fail in his eyes.
- Balancing your needs with your childs well-being.
- Emptying a house of life’s collections so that you can sell it.
- Asking someone on a date. Likewise, sharing your feelings with that someone.
- Allowing yourself any vulnerability at the risk of looking like a fool.
- Accepting that people have different experiences that shape their beliefs and caring for them anyway.
- Forgetting your past failures when attempting something new.
- Forgiving yourself.
I’ll stop there.
There is a part in “Dolly” where I talk about Kingdoms. Not the kind you visit in cheery, ol’ England. Rather the kind we have all built for ourselves. Castles armed with guards surrounded by moats. Some go as far as constructing valleys and hills to keep away anyone who might want to visit. The most guarded build mountains. It’s easier to keep people out than tidy the palace and let them in to see where our hearts lie. It’s easier to live behind walls than it is to face the difficulties, such as the one’s I listed above. Instead, we live in our palace and look over the terrain that we built and wait. We hope that maybe, someday, someone will want to take the journey to cross it.
Lisa has mountains built from everything that happened early in her life. She builds her kingdom from excuses and work. She keeps busy building her career because it’s easy. Far more easy than facing her past. More easy than forgiving those that need forgiveness, including herself. She sits in her cozy kingdom and waits with the hope that one day happiness will arrive on her doorstep in a basket with a pretty bow. She cuddles up in her bed at night with hope.
There is a quaint comfort in hope. One could stare at a door all day and hope it opens. Until you make the effort, the door will remain closed. Life isn’t easy.
I want easy as much as Lisa, especially in finishing the final edit of this novel. I was ready to call it “good enough” and begin submitting to agents. Granted, I’m prone to perfectionism, especially when I think of sending my writing into the world, but there is a balance. It’s finding that balance that offers the challenge.
I’m not going to make it easy for Lisa. It’s time to shake her world up and cause her a little discomfort. Sometimes, that’s what we need to drag us out of our kingdoms so that we can greet the stranger standing on the far off hill with his eyes shielding the sun. A little discomfort on our part makes the world of difference to those we meet who live in their own kingdom of fears.
I believe my own kingdom is breaking down around me. It hasn’t been easy, but I’ve come to realize that I don’t want easy. I want challenges that will break me. I want struggles that will shape me. I want to feel things. All things, good and bad. In the end, those feelings are what make us human. The more practice I have at facing the tough things in life, the more I realize that building kingdoms is where true difficulty lies.
Dying ain’t that hard, so in a little while, I’m going to make it easy. ~Beth Hart