We all handle the various challenges we face differently. For the most part, I believe that each of us are heroes, each setting out to conquer whatever challenge life has dealt us. It’s no secret that these last few months [scratch that… years] have been sprinkled with loss. Be it the loss of health (my mother’s dementia and sister’s cancer), the loss of a loved one, loss of life style (my marriage, and job, the fire). There has been much that has been endured. Changes in our own lives, be it welcomed or not, can be quite disruptive; but loss is one of those major hurdles to get over. And to do it, you must have will and determination and strength.
To write simply about ‘change’ doesn’t seem to fit this time, nor does it seem appropriate to simply write about loss… I’ve been experiencing something very strange and much delayed. I can’t quite put my finger on it (that’s the hard part), it’s not depression – which is a good thing; but one moment I’m melancholy – crying, sleepy – then all is fine. I’ve simply lost my gumption… Still, what do I have to ‘complain’ about?
But complain I did and ‘self-pity’ became my latest garment I threw on over my robe. I was getting into some bad habits – staying up until the wee hours of the morning, sleeping late, drinking coffee all day (hence more late nights) – it is high time I stop this nonsense before I end up the proverbial ‘train-wreck.’ I see a ‘switch’ in the rail line ahead and must quickly adjust the path of this journey. Often times we follow our paths with our heads hanging so low that we are completely clueless to the rattlesnake pit we are about to fall into. Our minds swirling with our own inner voices that we don’t hear the warnings.
They say when you feel down, count your blessings not your heartaches. Stay focused on the positive in your life and stay out of the ‘comparison game.’ Good advice, however I couldn’t help but find myself in that very game just the other day. Talking with my friend, someone of whom I’d not spoken with in almost thirty years – no particular reason we weren’t speaking, it was simply “LIFE” – but as we were talking and he was telling me about what has happened with him over these last three decades, I never dreamt that life could be so cruel. The loss of two children topped the list. Yet, as we were talking, he had such a wonderful way of speaking about it. There was no feelings of self-pity, though I’m sure his heart breaks with each memory; he was resolved and at peace.
After our long talks I had to ask myself; what in tarnation do I have to complain about? Life is better than I can remember, I’m prospering all over the place; still, I just don’t understand this, this… Melancholy! So, the question remains; is there such a place as – Destination Healed? If so, how many self-help posts/books must we read before we reach it and can finally de-board the Chattanooga Cucachu-chu?
So, how does one release themselves from this ‘pre-train wreck?’ Get going and get going. And, yes – count your blessings. Speaking with my friend, it reiterated that we truly are dealt cards in this game called “Life”; and our best shot is to play our games as best we can. One card and one game at a time, without struggling to see what card lies in wait or, worse yet, wondering about those we played.
I can remember when I was in college, my roommate’s mother once told me “Ann, if you gathered everyone and told them ‘place all the misfortune that life has dealt you into the brown paper bag before you and throw it into the center of the room and it will be released from you forever.’ So they all do and are elated. Then you say to them, ‘now, you are to pick up a bag before you leave as this will now replace the last.’ You will be amazed at how many will struggle and fight to find the very bag they just tossed.”
So very true. There is the old saying, “God doesn’t give you anything you can’t handle.” I’ve had trouble with this, though I used to live by it. And I think it boils back to this; to worry about what could happen is wasted energy as there is no control over the ‘unknown.’ And to keep revisiting past events is literally stripping you of, not just today, but your journey of where you could be. As each regret adjusts that journey.
Being a believer in the power of focused energy, to revisit the past and to try to make sense out of the senseless will only bring on more of the ‘senseless’ as this is the point of focus. Where, if we change our focus to the moments of our life… moment by moment we show up and find joy. ‘Joy’ being the targeted emotion.
I had the pleasure of helping a dear friend of mine this last week. She has a music program that she developed and volunteers for, for the local children in our district. I can’t tell you the joy of being with these little children as they rehearsed and got ready for their performances. If you need to get over the doldrums, helping/volunteering is one of the best ways to do it.
There is something so serene about placing your heart in the moment and speaking with each person you meet. By just placing a smile on my face and showing up to face these children needing my help, well, to be clear, it was stage make-up… not a big deal; but, it was huge to them. They smiled, and therefore I smiled. What a treat! And what joy!
Destination – Healed; not sure there is such a place, or that there should be as we are healing each and every day. And with each day - our target should be, not ‘healed’ necessarily, but JOY!
“You may encounter many defeats, but you must not be defeated. In fact, it may be necessary to encounter the defeats, so you can know who you are, what you can rise from, how you can still come out of it.”
― Maya Angelou
“If you are kind, people may accuse you of selfish, ulterior motives; be kind anyway.
If you are successful, you will win some false friends and true enemies; succeed anyway.
If you are honest and frank, people may cheat you; be honest and frank anyway.
If you find serenity and happiness, they may be jealous; be happy anyway.
The good you do today, people will often forget tomorrow; do good anyway…
You see, in the final analysis, it is between you and God; it was never between you and them anyway.”
― Mother Teresa