“I can’t make my life longer but I can make it wider and deeper.” -Jane Fonda
In a recent interview with Jane Fonda she talked about regrets. Her father came to the end of his life and was riddled with regret over many things. Fonda vowed after seeing the pain of her father to not allow regret to define her life. But Fonda knew she had to begin the process earlier in life, at sixty, not eighty before she couldn’t speak, and mending fences wasn’t possible.
You can’t make life longer, but you can make it wider and deeper.
Fonda’s folksy wisdom gives me something to ponder. We all know life is dust and shadows and yet we still choose to hover on the surface. We’d rather hold grudges than forgive, argue instead of finding common ground, talk instead of listen, take instead of give.
No one at the end of the their days will regret spending time with loved ones, giving their time and money and gifts to a cause, or making memories with the kid’s. Our regrets will take the form of choosing the office over the kid’s soccer game, money over relationships, and consumption instead of creation.
I believe to be deeper and wider is what it means to be human. Our souls were never meant to live in the shallows. We’re made by a wise and loving God to live in harmony with him, people, and creation.
When we try to live out of tune with these fundamental relationships everything goes wrong. We end up in the shallow end instead of swimming in the deeps.
I can’t make my life longer. But I can choose today to make it deeper and wider than it was yesterday.