Words for tonight (these are not mine, but I keep reading them over and over and anytime that happens I feel like there's something I'm supposed to be getting from them):
"You are part of a puzzle in someone's life. You may never know where you fit. But, someone's life may never be complete without you in it."
"Ruth didn't go back to what was familiar. She stepped out in faith and walked into the unknown. Her courage brought her to her divine destiny. Don't look back." - A Modern Day Ruth
"There's bravery in being soft."
I spend a lot of time thinking about how we all fit together, how who we are and the decisions we make affect all the others we share life with. I beat myself up a lot for being too nice, for giving too many chances, for extending too much grace...but, without all of those things, I wouldn't be me. I often think that if I were more tough, played the game differently, stopped giving so much some things in my life would be different - I think I tend to see those more "powerful" women as brave, but then I read those words - "There's bravery in being soft" - and I realized that God is using my "softness" in ways I likely can not see.
I spent some time tonight with a very dear friend who was dealing with something very fragile, and she was feeling very vulnerable. She is the most kind-hearted person I know, and while she was dealing with something that was causing her great pain, she continued to choose kindness over cruelty when the latter could have easily been justified. (Let's put it this way, I offered to buy eggs - no, not to cook - and she wouldn't let me. It was THAT kind of night.) We spent over an hour driving around after discovering news she needed to know, yet wanted not to know and talked about how two nice girls end up in such shitty situations. What I could tell her is that while the outcome ultimately wasn't what she wanted, she had without a doubt played a very important role in the other person's life ("You are part of a puzzle in someone's life. You may never know where you fit. But, someone's life may never be complete without you in it.") Life is not fair (I hear my mom's voice in my head every time I try and argue the unfairness of a situation), and at any moment we can be on the heads side of a tails-up coin. But, what I remind myself is...while I may not ever truly know how I've fit into someone's "puzzle"...there have to be places where I was the only piece that fit. And that's what I shared with her tonight.
The definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over and expecting a different outcome. We are all hamsters in that way. We replay scenarios with little variation in the variables yet somehow expect a different ending. We can't be afraid to change, to "...not return to the familiar but instead step out in faith and walk into the unknown..." because even if the what if doesn't seem appealing (okay, scary) at the time, it's gotta be better than whatever result we keep coming up with. I've said it a million times...life is short. We get one shot at all this...to create our puzzle...so be soft, be brave, don't be afraid of the unknown because maybe that's where you'll find the missing pieces...or, maybe you'll end up being a special piece for someone else. Who knows? Either way you can't lose...either way you gain something...either way something new, and most likely good, will happen...even if you were afraid of it initially. Don't be afraid to feel and root yourself in love...those two things will carry you when you doubt all the rest.