It wasn’t the first time someone had accused me of being laid-back. But it was the way she said it that got me thinking. She grinned as she told me that she was intrigued by my easy-gong nature. My “whatever” (said in a sing-song voice) attitude towards life.
For me, being laid-back is not an aloof, laissez-faire existence. It’s not a careless, irresponsible thing. In fact, it’s the opposite. It’s an intentional, grounded lens on life. You see, I’ve come to realize the lightness of living. Maybe it’s because things haven’t turned out the way I wanted them to. Or my dad’s example of this cool-under-pressure attitude, with a heavy topping of silliness..
Either way, I think people take themselves way too seriously. As if this life, this meeting, this moment was the only thing that mattered.
And yet it’s all so temporary. So finite. So uncontrollable. Like we’re all floating on water: this moving, rolling, unstable platform. Can you imagine the absurdity of people trying to stake claims on the ocean? It would be nearly impossible – not to mention, insane. Yet, here we are, doing the same thing with our lives. Gripping for control. Demanding attention. Then a storm comes, and a wave crashes over us. And we surrender. Because the irony of staying afloat is that you have to stop trying and simply relax. Lie on your back. Breathe.
So maybe that’s why I seem laid-back. I’ve surrendered. I’ve realized the power in letting go. After years of trying, of planning, of white-knuckling, I’ve come to what C.S. Lewis calls, “the vital moment at which you turn to God and say, “You must do this. I can’t.'” Kind of like the serenity prayer. There are things I can’t control. There are things I can. And I pray to know, and accept, the difference.