chaos February 02, 2016
A Collaboration with my Toddler
"Embrace the Chaos"
by Eve & Ruth Oosterman
2015 was quite the year. As life usually goes, it was a roller coaster full of ups and downs, with the latter being more prevalent. With this came many lessons to learn and wisdom to reap.
Mistakes only become regrets if you do not learn from them, so learn from them I did.
Everyone has their own story, some seem cursed with tragedy while others seem to have life perfected. I have to come to know this to be an illusion, we all have difficulties and burdens to bear, each unique as our stories. I understand that no burden is worse than another's, for even though they appear to be made up of different weights, they all weigh the same. It is important to acknowledge that others may have it worse, but in the same breath, remember not to belittle your own struggles. For they are just as heavy to you even though they may appear lighter to others.
Eve has been crucial to these epiphanies. She has shown me more than ever the importance of slowing down and listening to children, witnessing their passion for life. They see life in a way that has yet to be biased and warped by life's painful lessons, they see it purely as it is. Eve has taught me time and time again, one of the most important lessons of all.
EMBRACE THE CHAOS
The chaos will never disappear. To get through tough times we often think that what ever is over the hill will be better, easier. Most often it isn't, which only discourages us further, because to get through what we just went through we were holding out for better. What we really needed to do was to, "Embrace the Chaos." Embrace your trials and tribulations for what they are, they are the badges of a life lived. We can either bury the wounds created in a place where they will continue to fester and slowly blacken our minds and souls with negativity and self pity. The other option is to experience and accept what has happened so scars may grow from the healing process. Each scar is a badge of beauty, a story line of our soul that shows an acceptance of our trials and tribulations. These scars will serve as a reminder not only to ourselves, but those around us, that every day we have a choice.
The choice to CHOOSE chaos. To CHOOSE happiness.
Happiness is a choice. Some of the happiest people I know are those who have gone through the most. The difference between them and everyone else, is that they refuse to be the victim. They refuse to let life's tragedies pull them under, they have embraced the chaos and have become it's master.
Chaos is a thing of beauty. It is truly a shame to hide from it. You may look crazy and eccentric but strive to be the one who steps out into the storm. Embrace what comes at you and DANCE in the rain, learn from those mistakes and you will never regret a thing again.
Happiness is a choice.
But let me be frank. It will not be the easier choice to choose happiness, but an ongoing battle, however the long term pay out will be o so much higher. It will be a daily battle to fight everything in you that would rather just throw your hands up and walk away, hiding from the chaos. It will require bravery, willpower and the ability to be empathetic to others in order to acknowledge when you interpret yourself as life's solo "victim". Do not live your life to end as a victim but be a survivor, a survivor who embraces the beauty in troubled times.
In other words, be that crazy squirrel dancing in the rain. Witness and copycat the way children let go all things negative, they learn a lesson and move forward in search of what comes next. I am so thankful for Eve, just by being true to herself she has taught me more than I could ever hope to teach her.
A few days ago I saw her playing with this misshapen bottle, she was getting frustrated because it wouldn't stand up. There was no flat edge, no way to keep it balanced so it just kept on rolling. I realized then that I would rather allow life's events to mold me, even if it caused me to lose my balance and be deemed misshapen. Without being consumed by my attempts to maintain a "flat edge" I could finally wear my scars with pride.
Now I have found peace in being misshapen, never at a stand still. Now I am forced to move, pushing my boundaries and always be growing. Just like children, just like Eve.
I am now able to be a master of chaos.
ABOUT THE COLLABORATION
The piece featured in the time lapse video Eve and I did together after she saw my version (see above photo) and wanted to do one together. I found it fascinating how much more free flowing the one I created with her is. Sometimes we get so caught up in getting things accurate or "clean," but with children nearby they constantly remind us to just let go. Yes, life without kids would be much neater, quieter and organized, but there is just something so healthy that comes with their chaos. They are our gentle reminder to slow down and embrace whatever comes at us with joy and acceptance.