We Matter. You Matter.

by Diane Sweeney on July 2, 2014

Alaskan Reflections from an Empty Nester on Why You Matter

 

The beauty, depth and breadth of the mountains was magnificent. Pictures could not capture the variation in color, tree height, the hues of green and birch bark standing proudly on the mountainside for hundreds and hundreds of years.

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Then the glaciers – the shades of blue and white standing for millions of years; millions! The majesty, strength and power of all of that ice.

Looking down from the plane at a mere slice of the millions of acres or looking out from the deck of a ship at a small portion of a gigantic glacier, I recognized that I was a speck.

 

I am a tiny bit of dust in this immeasurable cosmos of natural creation.

 

It wasn’t like I hadn’t known I was a mere blip in the history of the earth and universe, but I actually felt it as I gazed upon the mountains and terrain of Alaska.

I felt small, I felt insignificant. Life started and ended for creatures that I never even knew existed in these forests, and on this glacial ice, and the life cycle would go on whether I was here right now or not.  

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I questioned what all of life meant.

 

Moments later, practically in the same thought and breath as my first belief of human irrelevancy, I heard the response.

 

You matter. Each of you matter. A lot.

 

We all get caught up in our story. Our life. Our jobs. Where we are at the moment and the drama and trauma of our family, friends and community.

There were times in the last few years as my nest became empty and my children went off on their own that I struggled with what life was all about.

All the philosophical questions came to mind as I muddled through my days working on redefining myself, my relationships and my home in this new phase of life. I asked what it could all mean as I followed my dreams of building a copywriting and coaching business – a way of connecting to others through my own experiences.

With the ability to think and have quiet hours for the first time in many years, I had the time to ask the questions about things that I chose to ignore in my younger and child raising years.

Sometimes the responses I came up with scared me. Things like, “what if it doesn’t matter?” or “it all means nothing.”

 

Why do we do what we do?

There was one day in just the last couple of months that I was doing yard work for hours on a Saturday and my husband was painting the basement during that same time period. Each alone tending to our chores.

Suddenly I was overwhelmed with uncertainty. What the heck is this all for? Who cares if I plant these flowers, till this soil and get rid of the weeds? What is the significance of us painting, renovating, and refurbishing ‘stuff’ if tomorrow it can all end? Who does it really matter to and why does most of humanity (or at least Americans) spend so much time doing it?

We had a discussion that evening which left my poor husband Don (who was not in the same frame of mind as me) frustrated that I wasn’t accepting our life for what it was. A good life, a blessed life, one in which we have the capacity to actually DO these things which I was saying I wasn’t sure mattered.

 

The Answer:

Then I found myself away from ‘my life’ immersed in the beauty and grandeur of God’s creation in the wilderness of Alaska. Territory and space God created and maintains for his enjoyment and for humans to wonder and gaze upon.

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Small, irrelevant me felt even smaller.

But moments later I felt, big, strong, powerful and mighty. 

Just as God created each branch on the tree, each shade of bark on a birch, and every animal in the wilds for a reason, He created me as well.

God tends to his creations, takes care and provides them with the means to stand tall and withstand the elements, die and rebirth, and even sustain when humans intervene in their natural cycles.

 

Human beings are part of that same creation. We matter. Each of us has a purpose and place in the plan.

 

If tending to our personal garden and household chores is what we have to do to fulfill our role in the plan, then let us each rest assure that God wanted it that way. Just as every tree in a forest is dependent upon the one next to it for shade, shelter, and nutrients, so are we for one another.

Just as all of nature comes together to create a scene that seems surreal, so is the love and compassion of all humankind weaved together to form a picture of what being alive, being here on earth is all about.

 

We matter to God. We matter to one another.

 

Through the infinite goodness of God my husband and I were able to create life ourselves. Our boys are testament to the reason we matter. The lives we touch, and that touch ours, through our daily work and routine, are verification that every living thing matters to the balance and meaning of our world.

Today, know that wherever you are, whatever you are doing, whatever mindset you may have – it all matters.

 

YOU are important to the rest of the world. We need you to just be you!

 

Have you had a moment where you realized why your life matters? Please share in the comment section below!

 

Are you looking for ways to find your place and purpose? Or know someone who needs direction and focus for the next phase of life?  Grab a copy of my FREE book here – 5 Steps to Get Focused on Living – Creating a Life After the Kids Have Flown the Coop

 

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 To your best,

     Diane

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