February 4, 2010

Self Reliance*

"The frontiers are not east or west, north or south,




but wherever a man "fronts" a fact." (Henry David Thoreau)



I've been thinking about a story I heard recently.  And it's not the kind of story that one would think would apply to life in general. To read the full account, go here.

Once upon a time there was a pregnant girl.She was very excited to be having her very first baby, and wasn't too nervous about labor and delivery, because she was going to get an epidural. But, once she go to the hospital to deliver that baby, she found that an epidural wouldn't be possible for medical reasons.  She was terrified and terribly unprepared. Overall, her experience was awful.

A good friend of this girl decided that she would not be caught in the same trap.  Before her labor and delivery, she researched and researched until she came across a birthing method that she loved.  And she ran with it. She was prepared and had an incredible birthing experience.

I've been thinking about this story and wondering: How often do I waltz through my life, not too nervous because I'm going to get an "epidural"?  And one of these days, when labor arrives and the epidural isn't available, what will I do?

This is not to say that I make big decisions lightly. There is much prayer before deciding on a new house, a new job, a new baby.  But, for the other decisions, the ones that don't seem quite so huge, how much thought do I really give them? Like the kinds of food that I bring into my home.  Or the businesses that I choose to support. How long to spend on my scripture study or prayers. Or where I decide to put my money.  These seemingly small decisions may be just as important in the long run as the big ones.  But I tend to run out and shop where ever is closest, buy what ever is cheapest and do whatever seems right at the moment with my money.  And then read and pray whenever I get a second.

"I went to the woods because I wished to live deliberately, to front only the essential facts of life, and see if I could not learn what it had to teach, and not, when I came to die, discover that I had not lived." (Henry Thoreau)  I find myself discovering that I do not live deliberately.  The essentials in my life are only in the background, hidden by the clutter that seems to be filling my home, and overshadowed by the debate on what to buy today.  


So, today, I make a new plan. I will live deliberately.   I will "suck the marrow out of life." I will "dispose of the superfluous" and "see things as they are." And I only hope that I will simply live. 


*which is actually by Emerson, but I don't think Thoreau would begrudge me that one. . .

11 comments:

Kristina P. said...

Excellent. And very true. I could most definitely be more thoughtful in many of my decisions.

Rochelle said...

beautifully said

Emmy said...

Very good advice

wonder woman said...

I do not live deliberately, either.

What great thoughts. It's a very well-written post, Rach!!

heather said...

I really like this. Me too, me too!

I think you should link this one up on the post of the week on MMB.

Liz @ Sugarplum Creations said...

Yes. I find myself to be much the same way.

Lourie said...

Excellent advice and a great analogy too.

Liesl said...

Well said. There really isn't much to be added to that. I feel the more I prepare for the future, whether it's an hour, a day, a birth, a storm, or eternity, the more I enjoy the present.

wendy said...

That quote by Henry Thoreau -- I HAVE IT MEMORIZED and it carries with me in my pures.
I found it just last year when I was going through all this upheaval of another divorce, a move etc etc.
I came across that quote and decided to memorize it.
I DO NOT WISH TO DISCOVER --WHEN I COME TO DIE --THAT I HAD NOT LIVED.

good post. sometimes we try to watze through life when we need to be more aware..and care.

wendy said...

Rachel, I just went upstairs to look in my purse, and that quote--it IS by Thoreau.

Debbie / Cranberry Fries said...

Such a fantastic thought and practical applicable story. I love it, thanks for sharing.

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