To write a story of every woman, without casting myself as the heroine, or bad apple occupies my imagination, especially when I am out walking. I imagine a few great opening sentences, but then I realize I can’t develop any of them without sounding like I’m droning – or bordering on another simpering scene in a
second-third-rate romance novel.
To understand who and where I am, as I am approaching over the hill at a faster speed than I ever saw coming, I cast back to memories that are mine, but not necessary accurate. Most of them are snapshots of less than memorable times in my life, which Pinterest encapsulates in their picto-quips better than my humble words:
- Everything happens for a reason – but sometimes things happen because you are stupid and make bad decisions.
- You lose yourself trying to hold on to someone who doesn’t care about losing you.
- Today is the oldest you’ve ever been, and the youngest you will ever be again.
Seriously, what worthwhile writer got her chapter headings from social media?
Me – because it is a relief to see
- I am not the only slow learner in the herd, and
- insight gleaned from embarrassingly painful failures can be compressed into wry wisdom.
And yes, I am going to outline the above and other illustrated one-liners as little chapters of me, for thee!
Life’s lessons that are worth reading – and worth remembering and applying – should be easy to unwrap. They should be worth learning because they are be true. But what is true can be overrun by what is tempting, convenient, or shameful.
What are those lessons– my lessons — that I hope others might see and read?
Stupid, even bad, decisions do not have to define you! But, you made them for a reason.
Figure out why, and owe up! But don’t beat yourself up over it.
Don’t ever use that reason as an excuse to keep making more bad choices.
Have you ever thought of your stupidity and willfulness as the foundation of a lesson worth sharing? Don’t be so blinded by the painful particulars, you lose the bigger picture! Heart-aching reasons can be handy reminders of lessons learned so that today, which is all we ever have, is a day well lived.
Writing about scenes from my life means blurring what would hurt or harm another’s heart or reputation; it means defining what is true, gently, patiently, and with love that does not cloy. It’s about as easy to do as painting sunshine and shadows on my latest canvas.
The beauty of the light in a Vermeer painting or in one by OsawaTanner is how well these artists handled the darks. How writers – how I – handle the dark is as vital.
Summing it all up, friends, I’d say you’ll do best by filling your minds and meditating on things true, noble, reputable, authentic, compelling, gracious—the best, not the worst; the beautiful, not the ugly; things to praise, not things to curse. (Philippians 4:8)