Discover more from Productive Flourishing
Living Like Hermit Crabs
Finding and re-creating yourself is a lifelong journey marked out in moments. It's an apparent paradox: we'll never be "there", yet we're always trying to get there.
Patience and persistence keep this paradox taut. Patience helps us celebrate, appreciate, and acknowledge both what we have and that we're in process. Persistence reminds us that we transcend our state and fuels the reconciliation of the world we're creating tomorrow and the world we're in today.
Too much patience without enough persistence leads to a blind acceptance of what is. Too much persistence without enough patience leads to despair and anxiety because things are never "right."
The possibilities of the world change every moment. As those possibilities manifest, our imagination sees different trails in the future. Even were there were a final state we could foresee, we'd work up until event omega to change it.
In the long view, most of what we'll do is monumentally insignificant. Yet everything we do has significance because it changes that matrix of possibilities.
That insignificance is a gift - if we don't take ourselves too seriously, we're free to let go and swing for the fences. If it doesn't matter one way or the other, we might as well have fun and live large while we're here.
The significance is also a gift. Each one of our little candles combined together can make a very bright world.
With each step, your world will unfold. Like a hermit crab, the shells that we carry today will be too small for us tomorrow. No matter how beautiful or well-fitting the shell is, you will have to discard it for something new. No matter how ugly or ill-fitting the shell is, you will not have to wear it forever.
Lao Tzu said: "When opposites supplement each other, everything is harmonious." Balancing patience and persistence makes such a beautiful symphony.