This is about the privilege of being truly present.
Last night my mom and I went to see American Sniper, wow, what a movie. What moved me the most was how much the wife needed her husband to be present, yet because of the trauma in his life and the war, Chris the husband struggled to be there for the people he loved.
[SPOILER ALERT] There’s a scene in the movie when Chris is at a birthday party and his wife and children are having a great time. His wife is next to him, smiling, laughing, sitting next to him in a lovely summer dress.
She begins to talk to him about their summer plans, the kids, how much fun their son is having, just normal beautiful life kind of stuff.
Then the dog and his son begin to wrestle on the ground.
Chris’ war trauma kicks in and in a matter of secons he is taken back to Iraq imagining the dog is the enemy and thinking things need to be taken care of. He gets up in a violent rage, gets the dog off his son, grabs the dog by the neck and in a matter seconds he’s about to kill him when his wife yells “Chris! Stop!”
It was the perfect example of the husband’s inability to truly be present because of the PTSD in his life.
This morning my wife got up concerned, she needed to process the coming weekend and decisions we need to make with our children. I was on my way to crossfit for a 6am early workout.
I’ve been trying to get in shape, I knew I wouldn’t be able to make it tomorrow because I’m traveling, so this morning was my last chance to get a work out in.
But I decided to stay home and be present with my wife.
My wife listens to me every morning.
Every day, she hears my hopes and dreams, my highs and lows, my up’s and downs. Every day we pray together and drink our coffee at 6am, talking through our day. I do most of the talking, she listens.
So when she needs to talk about her concerns, I’ve learned to be present and listen.
Today, she needed my help deciding on schedule, on what she’s hearing from our children, on her work and the evaluation she had yesterday (it went great). She needed to talk about her mom’s birthday tonight, making sure the bubble bread and cake is ready. About our daughters’ busy schedules this weekend and how she’ll have to manage without me.
Just normal life…..What a privilege.
Sometimes we think we can’t handle being there for those we love.
Often, because of the trauma in our lives we struggle being truly present. That’s nothing to be ashamed about, instead it’s something to address with a trusted friend, spiritual guide or counselor.
But at the end of the day, life is about being present with those you love.
Of course my body is important and my work this weekend is huge. In fact, I feel in a bit of a groove with crossfit and this weekend I’m praying God will use me to help hundreds of people recover from issues of fear, anxiety and depression.
But this morning, I needed to be home and listen.
Soon, our children will be up and the privilege will continue.
I will help them with their lunch (they eat junk food otherwise), give them rides, talk in the car, pray for them as I drop them off.
Life is not always perfect, we make mistakes, we make the wrong choices, we choose our trauma over love. I know that first hand, I mess up all the time.
My encouragement today #GOZONation and #GOZOFamily is to be fully present. Don’t try to be perfect, don’t try to be God, you’re going to make mistakes, let God be God.
But today, choose love.
Choose whatever is self-less, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is kind, think and act on these things and the peace of God will surely be with you.
For it is in these things that life truly lives, whether it’s crossfit, hanging out with your friends, husband or wife, taking your kids to school, or going to help people in neeed. That’s where life truly lives.
Maybe I’ll even go for a run later today…
Thanks for being here,
I’m here for you cheering you on,
Your #GOZO! friend,