Life’s Rulebook

Though there are certain undeniable truths about the way we should live our lives, life gives us no rulebook. It does not tell us how to be the best people that we can be, how to confront challenges, or how to make ourselves happy while at the same time, living with and for others. We are not given the knowledge of when it is okay to let go, how to wipe away the inevitable tears, or when and how to go about rebuilding. Life doesn’t define for us which things are the “right” ones to worry about and invest ourselves in. We are not given any information on how to live, but it is through living that we learn.

It is through encountering obstacles thrust in front of us that we learn to climb, and by experiencing the cold that we learn how to love warmly. By holding on for too long, we figure out that sometimes, letting go is the only viable option. Through blurred vision we learn how to see once more, and by examining the ruins that we figure out how to avoid weakness when we build, and make the structures of our lives stronger than they were. By caring about the wrong things, we inevitably see which are actually right, and when we have no choice but to invest ourselves in something, in anything, we figure out what exactly it is that we stand for and how to stand for it.

I guess there is no rulebook for life because rules are broken every day. Norms are challenged, ideas and concepts about humanity and the way we should live are re-defined, a standard for life does not exist, and people do the unexpected. Figuring out what our own rulebook contains takes courage. It requires an immense will to live, a willingness to make mistakes, and the ability to quit blaming external circumstances and take responsibility for the lives that we have set up for ourselves. Writing our own guides on how to live is hard. But the more that we do live, the more we commit ourselves to making decisions and improving the people that we are, the easier it becomes to write, the clearer our writing becomes, and the better we begin to live.

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