Get Busy Living or Get Busy Dying: The power of hope and perseverance
A story about perseverance against all odds, The Shawshank Redemption is one of my all-time favorite movies. It took Andy Dufresne 17 years to tunnel his way to freedom after being sentenced to life in prison for a murder he did not commit. Andy’s journey to establish his truth and find freedom and justice is a powerful story about the strength of the human spirit and the power of hope.
Castle Rock Entertainment, Columbia Pictures
After serving two years of his life sentence, Andy spends nearly two months in solitary confinement. When he is released from this punishment, Andy reveals his hopes and dreams to his friend Red. Although Red tries to convince Andy to stop dreaming about life outside of prison, Andy says, “I guess it comes down to a choice, really: get busy living or get busy dying.”
In times of challenge and despair, it can be easy to fall prey to hopelessness and defeat. But we must hold on to hope, which lies in our heart—not our brain—and supplies absolute belief in our ability to overcome and persevere.
Andy decides to get busy living. He has hope that he will escape his physical imprisonment and find freedom and justice. We can join Andy and decide to get busy living and plot our escape, or we can choose to stay victims of our metaphorical prisons. When we wake up each day, we get to choose to pursue our dreams or find an excuse to stay stagnant. We get to make this decision every single day, one day at a time.
We can choose to take a chance and discover a new opportunity or we can choose to stay in a soul-crushing job. We can choose to trust our independence and abilities or we can choose to stay in an unhealthy relationship. We can choose to take control of our health or we can choose to complain about our weight while staying up all night drinking soda on the couch. We can get busy living the life we want or we can get busy dying as we settle for our own unhappiness.
Certainly, there is no one-size-fits-all life. My idea of a fulfilling life is most assuredly different from your idea or my neighbor’s. Figure out what brings you joy, what fills your heart and soothes your soul. Consider what makes you feel confident and proud. Think about what challenges you, motivates you, and inspires you. What is essentially you? To settle for a life that is less than that is to get busy dying.
Channel your inner Andy Dufresne. Get busy living. Activate the hope lying dormant in your heart.
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Written by Laura B. Demers, © 2021 Reclamation Sisters