Living a Life Well Lived ~ Writing Our Own Epic Story
John Green’s optimistic yet sad novel, “The Fault In Our Stars,” is probably the sweetest book and one of my most favorite ever. It was also adapted into a movie that will be releasing in early June so it felt rather timely to write about this beloved book now. “The Fault In Our Stars” is a love story. But even more than that “it is a story about hope and fear and about letting go.”
I think one of my favorite parts of the book was where the character Peter Van Houten refers to the tragic love story of the two main characters in the book, Hazel Grace Lancaster and Augustus Waters, who meet in a cancer support group. Hazel Grace is terminally sick and Augustus is in remission. Peter says to Augustus, “Everyone in this tale has a rock-solid hamartia – hers, that she is so sick; yours, that you are so well. Were she better or you sicker, then the stars would not be so terribly crossed, but it is the nature of stars to cross, and never was Shakespeare more wrong than when he had Cassius note, ‘the fault, dear Brutus, is not in our stars but in ourselves’.” WOW. I read these lines over and over again, I marked the page so that I could marinate upon it for a moment and then return back to it again later. So poignant, so true, so beautifully written….it kind of stopped me in my tracks.
Of course there are faults in our stars, how ridiculous for anyone to think there aren’t. We are all trying to navigate through this crazy life, living in a world that isn’t always necessarily fair and trying to live the most meaningful life we possibly can, IN SPITE of all the faults in our stars. That is truly the key — making the most of this life, creating beauty, leading a meaningful life DESPITE all of the bad, despite the ubiquitous injustices in the world, despite the unfortunate hand we may have been dealt, despite what has perhaps already been written in our stars. We must create our own epic and beautiful story, no matter how long or short it is. The book was definitely a reminder “that short lives can still be good lives — full and rich.” (John Green)
I’m sure all of us can name tons of blessings and incredible people that would have never found their way into our lives had we not been so sick or unemployed or heartbroken and so on. Some of the most celebrated, most beautiful songs have often been born from the songwriter’s place of deep pain and sadness. Knowing that we cannot actually confront the all and powerful Universe for its indifference to us, for all of the pain and suffering in the world that happens every single day to good people, bad people, young people, old people…the universe does not discriminate! So instead we have to find and create beauty in this life…together! And we have to build it; we have to find a way to lead the most meaningful life possible, making lemonade from life’s numerous lemons. We must create happiness. We must help one another.
I know that I have been doing everything I can to write my beautiful epic story. How about you? I have no idea what the future holds for me or how long my story will even be. All I can do is put in the work and try my very best to make sure my life is well lived and rich with meaning, people, and love. It’s never too late to start “writing your epic story”…so how about starting NOW. Let’s strive to live a better life…let’s give this unfortunate hand we were dealt a run for its money. “Okay? Okay.” **Note: You will get that cryptic quote once you read the book or see the movie, which I highly recommend. I know I am counting down the days until I can see the film. Entertainment Weekly has said “…this is a love story. It is a story of joy and devastating loss and, most of all, life. It will make you laugh and rejoice and think and feel, and it will expand your heart in gratitude and humility, and it will make you cry.” Despite being sad, the story’s message really focuses on living a life full of hope despite a hopeless prognosis or fate. Living a life well lived.
Once upon a time….(insert YOUR epic story here)…