I Can Do It Myself (Not): Beyond Self Sufficiency

by | Aug 18, 2009

“Life is not a problem to be solved, but a mystery to be lived.” Thomas Merton
Maybe you’re a bit like me.
I pride myself on being self-sufficient. I feel empowered by the ability to solve problems, repair equipment, and complete projects on my own. I love going to a strange city and giving correct directions to tourists as if I were a longtime resident. Still, self-sufficiency gets in my way sometimes.
There was the time week I decided to upgrade the RAM in my desktop computer. I had done it before and expected it to be a cinch. This time, however, it was a struggle from the start. (That was a hint. I didn’t take it.)
I struggled until I snapped a fitting. Shortly after that, I re-discovered the easy way to insert the chips. I fit a couple of chips in with ease and encountered struggle again when I attempted to add chips to a hard-to-reach corner. Did I stop? No. 72 hours and countless crashes later, I went hunting for (and found) a good Mac technician.
As much as I love being able to pull my own maintenance, there comes a point where doing it all myself is not effective. Perhaps there is a clue in the quote above from Thomas Merton as to how we might discern when self-sufficiency is empowering and when it is limiting.
I invite you to join me in this inquiry over the next few days: “Am I living life as a mystery or a problem?”
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