How fragile everything is

There is something I have learned somewhat recently.

I did know this all along, I think everyone knows this, but now I feel like I really know it…

Maybe this is what makes life so frustrating and unfair, or maybe this is what makes life so fragile and delicate in the most beautiful way.

Progress and healing takes time. Cleaning up an emotional mess is like cleaning up a dirty home. You can’t do it all at once in less than an hour or so. You can it look much nicer in one day, but to really scrub deeply and get in all the cracks, it’s going to take at least several days, maybe weeks or months depending on how dirty it is.

Yet on the opposite end, making your home dirty can be done very quickly and easily. You just throw a few things around, break things, stop picking up after yourself for a few days.

Making a mess is effortless, while cleaning up that mess takes a lot of time and energy.

Another metaphor is building and destroying. You can set fire or blow up a place in the blink of an eye. Yet think of the amount of time and work it takes for construction to make that building.

Physically, the same thing goes for mentally, emotionally, spiritually. You can ruin absolutely everything in one night or one day. In the span of hours, or minutes, even seconds, you can destroy it all. And the amount of time and energy it takes to rebuild what you have destroyed takes years, maybe eternity, and for some people never. Oftentimes you have to accept that nothing will ever be the same.

I know this is pretty obvious, something I’ve always told myself, but I realize I only knew this truth on the surface. I have always rushed trying to “fix” things that cannot be fixed. I always held hope that one single night, or day, or act, or conversation, etc. could save everything.

All I need is this one night to make everything better, this one apology, this one confrontation, this one gesture, etc. and everything will be okay again.

But that is never how it goes. On the opposite side, all it takes is one night, one day, one conversation, one event, to destroy absolutely everything, enough to haunt you for the rest of your life. It takes so much to build trust with someone, and that trust can be shattered in the blink of an eye.

No, it’s not really fair that success is so difficult while failure is so easy. It’s not fair that our lives are uphill battles, where one little pebble you trip over knocks you all the way down, and you have to climb the mountain again. Also not fair that progress is not a straight line, but a wavy slope full of multiple failures.

That is one way to look at it. Another way to see it is to understand that fragility is beautiful. Vulnerability, openness, and honesty is what gives someone or something beauty. When you finally find success, you know that you earned it and seriously worked for it.

Sometimes there is hope for things to turn around. But that only comes with progress. Nothing is fixed overnight, yet everything can be ruined overnight. So you just focus on the progress.


7 thoughts on “How fragile everything is

  1. You write so beautifully, Laura. You seem to have the wisdom of someone well beyond your years. If it’s any consolation, my experience has been that the older I become, the less monumental failures feel. I think it’s as simple as experience reminding me that I’ve survived other failures and that the people around me who love me or even like me a lot make room for my flaws, wobbles, bumbles, faux pas, and the like. I think by the time I am my age, most of us have learned which people go well with us. They make decisions to stay with us because of our pluses and in spite of our minuses. In any case, I’m so enjoying your posts and your sweet clarity.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks so much, that is very sweet of you!! I can totally see that, experience helps you get out of your head and see the reality of it all. I am certainly growing less concern for what people think of my mistakes, it’s true that the right ones love you no matter what. Thank you! And you are also a great writer. ☺️


  2. It’s often when I see the aftermath of natural disasters that I think about how easy it is for things to be undone. Last summer, when terrible fires were raging in Oregon, one man talked about how he ran from the fire and came back to find everything gone. It was a memento of his childhood that he mourned the most. I try hard to remember the lessons of that fragility when I feel the urge to say something that might burn like a wildfire between me and a loved one.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Yes, it does not fully hit you until afterwards. And then time goes on and it continues hitting you more and more. The same way it happens physically, it happens emotionally, which is harder because you can’t see it as clearly.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Very well said Laura, it does take a long time to build and no time at all really to destroy something. That is part of the fragility of life for sure. But seeing that, knowing it truly, can help us to deal with things so much better, to build our lives in a better direction. Great post Laura!😀😺

    Liked by 1 person

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