Out of the Pain, We Rise

“Carry each other’s burdens, and in this way you will fulfill the law of Christ. 3If anyone thinks they are something when they are not, they deceive themselves. 4Each one should test their own actions. Then they can take pride in themselves alone, without comparing themselves to someone else,”

You reap what you sow, you sow what you reap. I read recently in an article that when choose actions now that will help us in the future we’re really showing compassion for our future self. So if you choose to do something hard, unpleasant, or tedious today that will make tomorrow or the next day a lot better, you are saying to your future self, “Hey, I care about you.” When I get up in the morning I say to myself “I care enough about my future to choose the hard thing now so that down the road I’ll be sick less, have less stress, and feel good about my body.” The temporary pain provides long-term benefits. But you have to choose the hard, the uphill battle, and the pain over and over again until finally you sit back on your deck and sip some lemonade and say “It’s good.”

Right after my Mom died it was hard to see a future. Logically I knew that tomorrow would come, and the next month, years and so forth. But I had to make my life from scratch, and everyone knows those pre-made cake boxes are darn easy to throw together and using high-quality ingredients is expensive and hard to find. My first bite of cake at the shop where I work ruined convenience and cheapness for all other desserts for me. Seeing the behind the scenes of a bakery made me realize just how incredibly difficult it is to make a beautiful cake. One single cake takes at least three people: One to make the frosting and batter ahead of time, the baker mixing, baking, being covered in batter and then depanning. And then the froster has to over it several coats of frosting and has to drag a spatula across to make it surface.  and that’s only half of it.  Don’t try to make your life over from scratch by yourself. If a cake takes a team, then your heart takes a team.

Your batter makes the cake, so make good batter. That’s it. You reap what you sow.

And yes, the relationship between what you put in and the results you see is murkier and more of a “grey” area than we like. Don’t. Give. Up.

“Broken people, we can be made whole, we can be made whole.”

The Brilliance, Will We Ever Rise

Can you live without comparing yourself to others? Can you live and let others carry your burdens with you? Life is much, much sweeter when you get to share it with other people. At my work we have a 10 gallon bucket that collects all of the espresso machine’s runoff. This includes cake crumbs, coffee grounds, syrup, and stale shots. We call it the “sludge” bucket. At the end of the night, it’s our job to make sure this bucket gets emptied into the mop closet sink. We made so many drinks one day that the bucket was practically overflowing with brown sludge. It was too heavy for one person to carry it without spilling this lovely concoction all over the floor. Me and my coworker had to carry it together. Don’t try to dump the sludge bucket of your life by yourself. Don’t wait until it’s too full for you to carry. Don’t pretend ugly brokenness isn’t inside of you. We need each other.

Back to lemonade on the porch. It’s sunny and your arms are streaked with dirt from working in the garden. You look over to see your most beloved grandparent, your best friend, or the love of your life.The struggle is over. Beauty is inside of you and outside of you. Plant good things.

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