The truth is that very little of it really matters. In the end, it doesn’t matter whether it’s labeled a failure or success. It doesn’t matter if they turned out to be trustworthy or they burned you the minute your back was turned. It doesn’t even matter what you managed to hold on to versus what you let slip away. It doesn’t matter how you looked, what they thought, or how it turned out. It doesn’t really matter. At least not to the extent that you think it does.
It seems like it matters. It seems like it matters so much that you industriously carry the weight of it every day – the weight of your worries, your distractions, your masks, your plans, all of the busyness that comes from trying to bend a yet-to-be-known future to your present day will, to make sure it all turns out ‘alright’. It seems like it matters, but it doesn’t.
If you take an honest look at days long past, you’ll see it too. After the dust has settled and the characters have grown, after the lessons are learned and the moments past, what really matters has very little to do with the story itself. It’s all about how it’s told.
What really matters is how far you opened the door and let life in. What matters is how honestly you felt it. How willingly you shared. How wholly you related. How deeply you loved. How sincerely you appreciate the moment, the feeling, the living.
The things that you’re working towards, struggling with, and worrying about right now are but a small part of what shapes the whole of your experience. And in the end, that’s what matters. The whole of your experience. How you feel. What you’re thinking. How much peace you’re creating, or how much stress. How open you are, or how single-minded. That’s what gets lost when you think all of that other stuff matters more than it does.
You see, it’s the quality of the moment more than the outcome of particulars in it. It isn’t about what’s happening so much as it’s about how present you are while it’s happening. For all of the time we spend inside of our heads, planning and worrying and trying to figure it all out; what really matters when the waves settle and the reflection is clear has nothing to do with the who, what and how. It’s about the why.
It’s about the driving force behind it. Was it love or was it fear? Were we opened or were we closed? Were we giving or were we taking? Were we worrying or were we hoping?
When you look back at today with the clarity that only experience seems to offer, how you feel about this moment won’t be based on whether you were respected or wounded. It will be about whether you were open to the experience. It won’t be about whether you succeeded or failed. It will be about whether you shared and learned from the venture. It won’t be about whether you figured out the puzzle. It will be about how much you enjoyed finding the pieces.
There’s a perfect kind of irony here, if you look closely. That kind of irony that loves to hang out in the presence of truth. That perfect irony is this – the things that we tend to focus on the most are the very things that turn out better when we let go and let them be what they are. When we focus on being open rather than being in control. When we focus on being present rather than planning ahead. When we focus on being honest. Being aware. Being in love.
Those are the things that matter. And not just in the end. Not just when the dust settles. Those are the things that matter here and now, in the midst of the moment, even as the storms are raging and the questions are as yet unanswered. What matters is that you live. Not in your head. Not in the future. Not in the past. Here and now. What matters is that you’re open. That you’re alive. That you’re there to feel it. From there, the rest will fall into place. And the things that don’t? Well, they don’t really matter anyway.
2018 Cristen Rodgers