To “Do” or to “Be”

I can not help but be a touch reflective and autobiographical with this post.
I realise also this may not have been and will not be everyone’s journey.

Short and sweet, but I hope definitely to the point:

While I continue to “do” I wonder what it would be like to begin just “being” too.
How much of me continues to be tied up with what I do? Looking back, the decades since childhood seem to have been full of doing, struggling, planning and aspiring. Achievements and failures more or less balance each other. There are things I have done I am proud of, others I am ashamed of, and still others at which I can only shake my head. Without realising it I have grown used to seeing myself as the sum of all these things; plusses, minuses and imponderables. I’m not talking about material things, although they have featured frequently along the way. New cars, furniture, holidays and investment portfolios all burned brightly but briefly. I am reflecting instead about how I have constructed my identity throughout my life. For me it’s never really been about material things, even when I was young(er).
It seems I have laboured long to establish a reputation, a place at the table, a niche in the world that affords me self respect and the regard of others. I have chosen to do this through many avenues and means, but the operative word is “do”. It’s as if I have felt myself to have substance and value through my achievements (and failures, transgressions and dissapointments too of course). Placing all those things aside however, all that striving and doing, causes a really awkward existential question to arise. Is there anything intrinsically me?
Faith and instinct both say “yes”. I am more than the sum of what I do and the functions I perform in society. If you were to press me on the issue though I would struggle to expand on that.
“Being” is sounding more attractive now that I don’t feel the need so much to stake out any more claims in the world. “Doing” can take a back seat for a while. I don’t really know what that will mean yet, but I am attracted towards finding out. Perhaps I will let you know when I do. I suspect I will find clues in relationships and family. With family in particular there is a lot of “being” that is needed.
My relationship with God is calling out for some more “being” rather than just “doing” too.


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