You start to believe that what you have is what you want


it has become all you know.


I wrote this piece, the above line included, shortly after the devastation in Haiti.  What strikes me (egotistically, of course, and somewhat embarrassingly) is how little I’ve changed in a year: for me, it’s the same emotions, different situation.  And, unfortunately, it took another major disaster to jolt me out of my self-pity…and my complacency.

I’m not going to write about what happened in Japan, because emotionally, what I wrote over a year ago is still what lives in my heart: on a personal level, it’s a forceful reminder that life, and its many glorious opportunities, is too precious to waste on wallowing.  And so I hope that, mindful of the bigger picture, I will not take so long to recover from my own coinciding (and less signficant-by-comparison) heartbreak.

P.S.: I finally have the iPhone…and I now text less than I ever did before.  Another lesson learned.


(originally posted January 14, 2010)

As has become clearly evident to my acquaintances, I love texting. In fact, I may treat myself to a new iPhone soon that will give me texting capabilities beyond my wildest imaginings. Friends and enemies alike: Beware. Run, hide, flee. Once I have that awesome phone in my possession, you’ll never know when the midnight texter will strike.

And today, I used my texting powers to do just a tiny, miniscule, itty-bitty smidgen of good. If you are reading this, I hope you will, too.

Text “HAITI” to 90999 and $10 will be donated to Red Cross International Relief. The amount will appear on your cell phone bill. Seriously, do it. It’s less than a dinner out.

Today while I was in the break room heating water for my tea, I could not help but watch the television, which was tuned to CNN. I intensely dislike the histrionics and self-serving importance (and often, the underlying glee) of disaster news reporting. In fact, I’ve deliberately shied away from watching television this week to avoid the melodrama.

Yet I was unwillingly riveted by the human interest story that was unfolding: a little girl trapped with no equipment to remove her from the wreckage. Her rescuers were considering amputating her leg, but they did not have proper medical equipment, anesthesia or blood. She was screaming horribly and tragically in the background, her fear and pain slicing through the sensationalism and imbuing the scene with sincere, heart-stopping drama.

It brought tears to my eyes and a bit of embarrassment about my own self-serving histrionics of late.

For the past few months, I’ve been wallowing, longing and hungering for things that aren’t possible and that are, in reality, absolutely no good for me. My thoughts have paralyzed me, kept me from moving forward with my own life. But I don’t want to look back and wonder where the years went; I don’t want a tragedy to open my eyes to a wasted life. So I’m trying, with all my strength of will, to put what is essentially silliness behind me. It’s time to face outward, to contribute positively to the world, to work toward loftier goals, to make a difference.

Life is what you choose to make it. It’s far more than skulking about in the shadows, living internally, hoping, dreaming, wishing. Life should be externally focused. It should be about living large, doing, accomplishing, achieving. Active voice, not passive voice.

Yes, yearning and dreaming are necessary to set plans in motion. But action is the next step. Inaction eventually leads to inertia and stagnation and a sudden realization that too many years have passed with no forward movement, no resolutions.

You start to believe that what you have is what you want because it has become all you know.

A broken heart pales significantly against a broken life. Let me hold that lesson close the next time storm clouds roll in.


From today’s Elephant Journal:

These particular campaigns have been organized by the mGive Foundation, a Denver-based charity that manages mobile donation programs. MGive says it vets and certifies the organizations it works with.

  • To donate to American Red Cross Relief, text REDCROSSto 90999
  • To donate to Convoy of Hope, a faith-based organization that does community outreach and disaster response, text TSUNAMIto 50555
  • To donate to GlobalGiving, which focuses on “grassroots projects in the developing world,” text JAPAN to 50555
  • To donate to World Relief Corp., the humanitarian arm of the National Association of Evangelicals, text WAVE to 50555

Text-based donations raised tens of millions of dollars for Haiti in 2010.

Please give, pray or do whatever your own spirit guides you to do.