Ongoing Stories of My Soul

Look over my shoulder as I ponder life.

No, I have not been hacked. Yes, I meant to put those two letters as a title. These two small letters are innocent; it is the naughty meaning that we have assigned to them that make the jaw drop.

I maintain that F and U are two forces that drive our souls. The ‘F’ stands for ‘familiar’. We like things that are familiar. Ever have to borrow someone else’s car for a day? Yep…it is great to climb back into the our own vehicle with the seat adjusted just so, and the radio on our favorite pre-set stations. ‘Familiar’ is the tune we whistle when visiting our hometowns–replete with memories and old haunts. We smile as we babble on about “Remember when we…” and “I can’t believe that building is still there…” Familiar. It is like slipping into a pair of old shoes or hearing a friend’s voice on the line. It is comforting and anchoring and soothes our sore spirits. We like familiar, do we not?

The ‘U’ hovers above that which is ‘unknown’. It’s that scary arena that holds us back from opportunity and accepting folks different from ourselves. The ‘unfamiliar’ is what ties our stomachs up in knots that first day of school or when being wheeled in the delivery room for child number one. It is reporting for a tour of duty. The unknown can hold us hostage if we let it. It is standing on the diving board, watching the water churn, then going back down the ladder. The unknown must be challenged if breakthroughs in science, medicine, inventions, are to be made. But even walking across the room to shake a stranger’s hand is entering that great unknown. Pioneers left the ‘F’ to travel in covered wagons to the ‘U’. Good for them.

And sometimes the familiar and the unknown collide and a whole new adventure begins! Perhaps this is what we call marriage, raising children, going on vacation. No matter what we knowingly bring to the table, surprises await. Makes life interesting. And terrifying. But all the while, creates a dynamic in our souls that keeps us stepping to the edge, and running back into our mother’s arms. I think that the familiar and unknown is what keeps us balanced, growing, and safe. It pushes and pulls. But just remember when life is really getting to you just, shout F U! Curses! The battle of the familiar and unknown have begun once again. Be brave. After all the fussing and cussing– victory awaits.
F U, indeed.


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