It dawned on me recently that all my commitments, convictions, and cares have piled up and hardened up and gotten in the way of me having as much fun as I used to. I mean, I’m still looking for a good time when I can find the time, and it’s always going to be part of my temperament to bring humor and some sense of play to most of the stuff I’m up to. But lately… I dunno… it just hasn’t seemed as much fun.
That’s got to change. It ain’t right.
In a class last week, we were talking about our personal values. We had to narrow it down to two, which was pretty challenging. I ended up identifying “Strength” and “Fun” as core values, the expression or lack of which inform whether or not I feel alignment, purpose, direction, and integrity in everything that I do. Other people shared values such as “Freedom,” and “Peace,” and “Honesty.” And, obviously, they’re all great — there’s no right answer here — it was simply an inquiry into what turns us on, lights us up, and makes us tick.
It’s similar to Marie Kondo’s tidying-up question, when decluttering spaces and lives: “Does this spark Joy?” I’ve been asking myself: “Is this the Strong choice? Does this inspire Strength?”
One of the things I realized is that I’ve been holding my Strength and Fun in ways that set them almost at odds with each other. Like, it’s been hard to reconcile the two, to keep them both in good measure. The strong choice hasn’t seemed the fun choice, and vice versa. And because I’ve felt called decisively to Strength by various circumstances over the past several years, that value has become relentless and dominant in my life. It’s been powerful, indeed, but also intense and grueling. And it hasn’t contained nearly enough Fun — pure fun, fun for fun’s sake.
Fun ceased to be my priority. Fun seemed a frivolous indulgence. Fun didn’t sufficiently honor the gravity of things, or demand enough rigor and dedication, or enough of of whatever I thought I needed to contribute in order to deserve a good life…
I’ve always despised the phrase, “You’re having too much fun.” Even when it’s said in a lightly good-natured way, it sounds like someone pooping on a birthday cake. But now I’ve found myself embodying that very stupid idea — as if there’s such a thing as too much fun, and I’d better not have it. Ew. Gross.
What I’m beginning to recognize (again) is that the conditions and situations of our lives are always inviting us to bring our fullness to the scene. [Ha! Just now, first I wrote “bring our fullness to the work,” then changed it to “bring our fullness to the game,” then realized that neither of those was complete for me on it’s own — one sounded like strength, one like fun, and dang it, I value both!]
So… yeah, what I’m trying to remember now is that conditions and circumstances are always inviting our fullness, our wholeheartedness, our complete selves to life. It’s really up to us to practice ourselves into presence — to practice ourselves into being the Presence of the Divine in all its glory as us. We are here to do so — to MAKE OURSELVES — in the perfectly unique way that balances and includes everything we are and everything we want to experience. My part is to be and bring Strong Fun, or Fun Strength. All of one without the other for too long is probably going to feel out of whack.
The good news is that it’s always completely within our power and authority to be and bring our whole selves. No matter what. Once we’ve identified our issues — too little Fun, Peacemaking at the expense of Truth, off-kilter Love, whatever it is — we can look for the myriad opportunities that are always immediately available for us to practice whatever it is we seek, whatever it is we’ve been missing. Of course, some occasions will tend to elicit more of this or that or the other. Still —
I reject absolutely the idea that there is any circumstance in our lives or in the world to which our personal mix of all that we are, all that we hold dear, is not called. We’re enjoined to be ourselves. Let’s.
I can’t wait to be with you, with all the fabulous self you’re making, this Sunday, March 3, at Bosque Center for Spiritual Living (bosquecsl.org). Service at 10. XO, Drew
© Drew Groves 2019