You're meant to live for more
Get out of bed and make some beautiful choices
In The Empire Strikes Back (1980), Luke Skywalker is hitting a wall in his Jedi training with Master Yoda in the swamps of Dagobah. Luke is stubborn, narrow minded and stuck on the physical nature of existence. Luke can’t seem to grasp this idea of the Force being an energy that runs through all living things, connecting him to the swamp, and the swamp to the trees, and the trees to the air they all breathe.
“Luminous beings are we, not this crude matter,” says Yoda as he pokes at Luke’s arms. He wants Luke to think bigger.
The other day I was scrolling Instagram and came across a friend doing an acoustic cover of Meant to Live by Switchfoot. You remember that song? Big hit in 2003…highly memorable guitar riff. I’m not a Switchfoot fan per say, but it’s a very good song.
We were meant to live for so much more
Have we lost ourselves?
Somewhere we live inside
How does this connect? I’ve been thinking about this “luminous beings” idea a lot recently, particularly because the current time is 6AM EST. I’ve been getting up quite early again. Back when I was writing my book, to meet the deadline I was rising at 4:30AM to put in 2.5 hours of uninterrupted work a day. It was the only way I could have done it. Don’t find time, make time.
Y’all, it was so hard. But every single day I got up and did the thing, I can’t think of a time I ever felt regret as 7AM rolled around. Ever.
We are the sum of our choices. Little ones compounded atop one another day in and day out, which lead to bigger choices (those forks in the road). Doing small but difficult things daily are ways to train yourself for moments of greater consequence. I make several bad choices a day. But every day at least starts with one beautiful choice. This one. To be here with you, writing, reflecting and envisioning the day ahead.
Getting up before my family and having time to A) walk the dog B) journal C) pray D) have coffee in silence, is a hard thing that I do for me. It’s so damn difficult some mornings to put your feet on the ground beyond the bed.
But we’re meant for more than the comfort of bed. We’re human beings.
We’re meant to create, and care for other living things. To do things.
Take it from Yoda. Switchfoot. Or Marcus Aurelius, who wrote this absolutely cutting observation around 171 AD.
“At dawn, when you have trouble getting out of bed, tell yourself: “I have to go to work — as a human being. What do I have to complain of, if I’m going to do what I was born for — the things I was brought into the world to do? Or is this what I was created for? To huddle under the blankets and stay warm? So you were born to feel “nice”? Instead of doing things and experiencing them? Don’t you see the plants, the birds, the ants and spiders and bees going about their individual tasks, putting the world in order, as best they can? And you’re not willing to do your job as a human being? Why aren’t you running to do what your nature demands?
You don’t love yourself enough. Or you’d love your nature too, and what it demands of you.”
The week is done. It’s Friday. Rest up this weekend. Next week, try to start your day just a bit earlier. Make time for you and the person you’d like to be. Don’t touch your phone. Don’t check your email. That extra hour you created is for you.
Luminous beings are we. You were meant to live for more. This is the way.
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