I’VE BEEN DOING a lot of questioning lately about why we’re even here in the first place.
Who are we to each other? What’s going on?
I mean, honestly, what the hell are we even doing here? Not many people seem to know why they even want to stay alive, let alone whether or not they have some sort of purpose or whatever.
So many of us can’t wait for the day to be over; for the time to go by more quickly; for the next moment to come.
When’s the weekend going to be here? When’s summer going to get here? I can’t wait until summer (or is it fall? or winter? No, it’s spring! I can’t wait for spring to get here!!)!
What year is it, again?
“In every soul
Is the need to grow older
To speed up the passing of time.
I don’t know why
But it makes me cry.”
–Jacob Collier, “Make Me Cry”
I’ll tell you why I think we’re here.
We are here to communicate with one another. To understand that we are, in fact, already inextricably connected.
We are simply different parts of the same whole.
We’re not “like” the same; we are the same. We are different perspectives of the same experiences.
We are here to share those experiences—to literally “be” the experiences we have—with one another. Our own unique way of seeing the world is our contribution to a great depository of experiential love from which all love is drawn.
The well from which you draw the love you need to love those dearest to you is the same well from which I draw, from which your ancestors and my ancestors drew.
It doesn’t matter if we didn’t ever know it was the same well, it simply was and is and always will be the exact same well.
I believe when we die, we become entirely one with God, which means we will be entirely at one with love itself.
That means every encounter we have with love in this life—any act of kindness, compassion, understanding, anything done that produces the universally recognized and understood fruits of the Spirit that St. Paul writes about in Galatians—is an encounter we have with our loved ones, and everyone else’s loved ones, who have gone on before us to become one with love.
They are woven into the very fabric of love itself. So, when we experience love, we literally experience them.
I believe that I have been in the presence of my grandfather—all of my grandparents actually—at different times in the past few years. Especially, the past few years. I know for a fact I’ve been visited by Todd Brooks (the best man at my wedding in 1992) a few times. He died in 2013.
Did I see their ghosts? Not in the Jacob Marley sense, I don’t think. It’s always more of an ontological influencing; an intellectual nudging, if you will.
Perhaps it’s a memory? But what is a memory?
A memory is not what actually happened. We like to think it is, but a memory is our current self interpreting how we got to here-and-now, and it’s always doing that, again and again and again.
A memory is our imagination at work, attempting to reconstruct the past into a usable tool for understanding how we got to where we’ve gotten and where we might be going after this moment, and the next, and the next one after that.
I believe our imagination is the key to our connection with God and our communication with each other. That’s why artists and creative people have always been right on the pulse of it all, itching to articulate what it means to be human.
It is the Creative in each of us that is at the purpose of God.
When we are creative—in whatever way that appears in you—we are experiencing and are present to a oneness with God we don’t usually recognize; it’s always there, we just don’t always see it.
When we experience someone else’s creativity—watch a movie, read a book, see a painting, observe a beautifully cleaned home, eat an amazing meal someone has prepared, watch an athlete, etc., etc., etc.,—we are communicating with the deepest parts of that person. They are offering and we are receiving. And so it would be in reverse.
The creator, the created, and those receiving the creation form a fantastically beautiful circle of intention and meaning. When that circle forms and we are present to it, we take part in the experiential reality of God.
It happens all day every day, and you’re not even missing it.
You might not know what’s going on, but whenever you smile at someone or hold the door at Wawa for someone or check on a neighbor or tip extra well or go through a door someone else is holding for you or recognize that someone is having a bad day, or see something online that “renews your faith in humanity,” you are in the midst of experiencing God.
Who do you think you are?
Well, for starters, you are an indispensable gift to the universe.
You are irreplaceable. You are brave, resilient, and full of something so incredibly unique that only you could give it to the world.
No one else but you can do what you do. We need you, and you will never fully understand just how much.
Why are we here?
We are here to love and to be loved in return.
You are worth everything.
Peace to you.