dying to live

Esther asks why people are sad.

“That’s simple,” says the man. “They are prisoners of their personal history. Everyone believes that the main aim in life is to follow a plan. They never ask if that plan is theirs or if it was created by another person. They accumulate experiences, memories, things, other people’s ideas, and it is more than they can possibly cope with. And that’s why they forget their dreams.”

Esther remarks that many people say to her, “You’re lucky, you know what you want from life, whereas I don’t even know what I want to do.”

“Of course they know,” replies the nomad. “How many people do you know who say: I’ve never done what I wanted, but then, that’s life. If they say they haven’t done what they wanted, then, at some point, they must have known what it was that they did want. As for life, it’s just a story that other people tell us about the world and about how we should behave in the world.”

“Even worse are those people who say: I’m happy because I’m sacrificing my life for those I love. Do you think that the people who love us want to see us suffering for their sakes? Do you think that love is a source of suffering?”

“To be honest, yes.”

“Well, it shouldn’t be.”

“If I forget the sotry other people have told me, I’ll also forget a lot of very important things life has taught me. What was the point of struggling to learn so much? What was the point of struggling to gain experience, so as to be able to deal with my career, my husband, my various crisis?”

“Accumulated knowledge is useful when it comes to cooking or living within your means or wrapping up warm in winter or respecting certain limits or knowing where particular bus and train lines go. **Do you believe that your past loves have taught you to love better**?”

“They’ve taught me to know what I want.”

“I didn’t ask that.  Have you past loves taught you to love your husband better?”
“No, on the contrary.  In order to surrender myself to him, I had to forget all the scars left by other men.  Is that what you mean?”
“In order for the true energy of love to penetrate your soul, your soul must be as if you had just been born.  Why are people unhappy?  Because they want to imprison that energy, which is impossible.  Forgetting your personal history means leaving that channel clear, allowing that energy to manifest itself each day in whatever way it chooses, allowing yourself to be guided by it.”
We do not need to lose the things that are important.  Those stay.  But to let go of control – to let love do its perfect work is to be like Jesus.  To not only forgive, but to forget.  To literally allow the pain and the pride to become completely unimportant so that we can quit attempting to control ourselves and those around us, and simply be an extension of God’s love on earth, without any regard for self-protection or self-promotion.

“stop being who you were and become who you are.”


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Keep me away from the wisdom which does not cry, the philosophy which does not laugh and the greatness which does not bow before children.
-Kahlil Gibran

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