To continue on this thought about why we usually secure the how and the what while we leave the why out of it, I came to a new thought on the why. I think the why terrifies us. Or our LACK of a WHY terrifies us.
I know a girl who is beautiful in all the ways a guy would say a girl is beautiful. She always smiles. She is never late. She apologizes thoroughly the one time she is slightly late. She is involved in anything and everything and everyone knows that she is involved in anything and everything, and they know stuff about her, but they don’t really know her. Well, they think they do but that is mainly because she is interested in them. In reality, they don’t know her, because she doesn’t actually know herself. So she is shifting back and forth in this ship of her life that is on what feels like powerful waves all around her. She’s found that people in life are almost like her crew. She is a captain. To them, she appears fearless. She is chasing back and forth on both sides of the ship to make sure all the sailors don’t lose heart. She runs down into the ship and checks on the crew down there, smiling and securing that everything will be alright. Then she runs back up to the deck and checks back and forth between sailors. They are all weary, so she channels her strength to take in their weariness. If not, the ship will surely crash with these kind of waves. The sailors love her and she loves them. They feel close to her, and can’t imagine life without her. At least that is what she feels because they’ve said things like this to her.
She is weary, and tries to hold it together, but even a captain needs rest and recovery. So she rests. But when she does, it is only in the moments of needing to crash. When she does crash, she is exhausted for hours, sometimes days. And the whole time she feels guilty because she is not “there” to captain the ship. The sailors take care of her needs, but no one really knows her deeper needs. It is a classic Snow White scenario, except the dwarves are taking care of her right now. They have to. She makes their lives possible.
Finally she regains her strength, and the cycle continues forward. She is ready to give again. And give she does. Only this time, her spirit struggles to give the way it did. So she tries to create a deeper well to draw from in her own personal life, but struggles to do so because every time she needs to go deeper, a sailor is crying and tells her that he needs her to comfort him. So she goes from captain to mother. And she stays busy. She is back and forth, up and down, everyone loves her.
But no one knows her.
Now, pause for a moment. What do we have here? We have one worn out woman with a difficult life guiding others on a difficult ship.
Maybe. Or maybe we have a woman who has constructed an alternate reality for the purposes of her sanity. Because it would drive her insane if she had to deal with why she was doing what she was doing. Or why she felt the way she did about herself. At least if she is busy and constantly giving, then the people around her can channel to her what she wants to feel inside of her heart. That she is a good person. That she is living a good life. That she has a good purpose.
The only problem is that she is living in a world she created for herself. She designed this ship for her own purposes. The way this entire life works, people are sailors and she is the captain.
The real question is, “Who made her the captain? And why does she see herself this way? Perhaps, why does she need to see herself this way?”
Unless that isn’t the real question. What if the real question goes beyond that? What if the real question is, “Why does she think she is on a boat and that her place there is as captain to the people on the ship who she considers to be sailors in this private reality she has constructed for her own benefit?”
Could it be that the tumultuous waters, and the struggle that the ship has actually represent the chaos in her life. And she feels like the chaos will break her apart. So the way she chooses to stand against these difficult strains in life is to stay busy by choosing to be everywhere and doing everything that everyone is doing.
Because if they tell her that she is good, wonderful, sweet, kind, loving, and most of all needed…then she can silence the voices in her head that say she is none of these things. If she constructs an alternate reality in life, then she will be satisfied within herself.
Until she is exhausted in the cabin. And as she lies there, trying to regain strength, she wonders why she is doing what she is doing? But she quickly pushes those thoughts outside of her head and gets back to work.
That is, she does this until the 11th time she is in the cabin. Struggling within herself. And that she isn’t strong enough to continue this way in this life. Exhaustion annihilates her will, and she feels deprived of the hope, beauty, joy, and mirth of life. Finally, then she begins to address the big why of her life. And this is never easy. Especially when life is chaotic.
She feels the pull to go back outside the cabin and make sure everyone’s needs are met so that they can sail the ship. But then she realizes that the only way that the ship will ever truly sail is if the waters are calmed. And the waters aren’t outside. No, they are inside. They are inside of her soul. They are present, and these are waters that are erupting with questions. They are crashing into all of her, and she feels like she may be broken by these questions. Because they have been unanswered for so long. Really, one of them has been answered for so long.
Why? Why are you living this life the way you are? Why are you here? Why this time? Why this place? Why this moment in history? Why you?
And the answers are beautiful. And the work on the deck of the ship is intoxicating. But the answers would be so beautiful, oh if they were impressed on her heart and soul.