(Photo contributed by Marlena Groomer – the beauty is that it can be seen so many ways)
“Adversity is like a strong wind. It tears away from us all but the things that cannot be torn, so that we see ourselves as we really are.” – Arthur Golden
I’m so personally dismayed and at times, disheartened from a logical and realistic standpoint when I (or for that fact, those closest to me) allow what has happened, or been done, set the boundaries and plant limitations for not just the present, but also how they shape the future ahead. With only one life to either embrace or surrender to, I must adopt the ideology that I have the power behind the choices and eventually, the final decisions about what, the amount, and the duration, of what I carry from the past, regardless of how or who designed it.
Okay before the instinctive response to the foregoing regarding life not always being “easy” or “fair” is directed my way, out of courtesy I’ll acknowledge that attempt to point out the patently obvious so succinctly if allowed the following response: No kidding and it’s not always meant to be! I’m not sure how much gratitude I’m obligated to express for that piece of enlightenment or, the level of remorse I owe for my blatant sarcasm!
I get it that life can be difficult but it’s not meant to be that way for a vast majority of the time nor is it meant to travel with us indefinitely throughout our existence no matter how subjectively it’s measured. Again I apologize for my sarcasm since this is a sensitive topic given the repetitive messages to my boys that self-designed demonstrations of martyrdom and victimization aren’t generally met with a great deal of tolerance or sympathy. And for the record, I’ve previously been guilty of the same not understanding how unnecessary it was, how unsatisfying the results of those efforts were, how unpleasant I was to be around during those attempts, and the harm it caused to those closest to me.
Let me be honest that by virtue of the history of the author here, I’m well-versed about the challenges that this or any life can confront us with, either through our own or someone else’s creation. To the best of my knowledge, there was no receipt from the hospital of my birth that set forth the guarantee that life would be “easy” or “fair”, and the only assurance I could draw upon was that my parents would do their best on my behalf with the resources they had available to them, their strengths, and doing their best not to succumb to their own flaws for what I would once day have to handle without them.
Do I wish some things would have turned out better despite their efforts? Maybe but then again, that’s disrespectful because I’m not sure I could put a finger on anything that I’ve been gifted with that doesn’t relate back to what my parents provided me with, starting from my creation. Besides what does that say about me when I can’t overcome what’s been introduced into my life that hasn’t yet destroyed me, and I’m certainly not going to blame God for what I wasn’t given when I think about the millions to billions of other people who upon quiet reflection, have had less to work with while dealing with so much worse!
Okay, so much for the opinionated diatribe and on to something that may or may not be meaningful on this topic. Life can be challenging because of how unpredictable we view it which of course it is depending on the location it’s viewed from and associated mindset utilized at the time. Then again, when I honestly reflect and revisit the history of the choices and decisions leading to what I initially thought was the unexpected, what’s astonishing is how naturally predictable I should have foreseen their occurrence (including what led to my recent brushes with mortality) and how it really wasn’t that surprising, accidental, or mystifying as far as how, why, and that they happened.
Of course as with all analysis derived from hindsight, it reveals the patently obvious signs of foreboding after its too late to rectify. In the end, I now see that such “randomness” really is part of adding flavor to what we taste in life, whether it be sweet or sour, that unveils what I would prefer and want to avoid as the rest of it unfolds. Maybe there’s some rationalization there but so what if there is, as long as it allows me to sort out and put people and things in proper perspective quicker than continually vacillating between theoretical personal debates about what may be never fully understood anyways!
I’ve had some time now to reflect on what is clearly apparent, things a little more sublime, and most things in between that have shaped this particular life which I ultimately own.
What has it all meant? Sometimes it still depends on the location it’s viewed from, associated mindset, and even my f’ing moodiness at the time but with a greater degree of clarity on a vast majority of what I look back on and their connection to the “here and now”. But by still carrying the residue of what could never be changed with the dread that similar events “might” occur again, then the better question is what am I depriving myself with respect to the opportunities to see all “the windows of hope” that I can open for so many things that would lead me to evolve through this one and only life while I still have it? I mean how much time am I guaranteed anyways, or for that matter any of us regardless the age, to continue to “F” around before the final day comes where afterwards, all that is ultimately left of me is shadows and dust? And the hereafter? To abstract to contemplate but for now, all I ask is “just give me tomorrow” to see well enough where I can add and take more through my best efforts and acts of living!
So what to do with the past and finding it’s rightful place? Paraphrasing something a friend told me, we have to let go of things or be prepared to be dragged down by them when it comes to what we carry from the past. I think that’s largely true but only as a generality. As a basic principle, it makes sense and I really try to do that so I can forge ahead albeit with varying degrees of success. For me, I guess it’s best to hold on to things in the past only for what it has taught me for the challenging times ahead, and hold less tightly onto those things whose presence can’t be disregarded that either way will soon become part of the past so they don’t impede on all available empirical progression. Beyond that, what has already made a difference may be remembered but has to be figuratively released so that what’s left to change my world can do so a lot more independently.
To be shackled by things that I’ve yet, and need, to escape from that still metaphorically imprison me doesn’t make sense when I think of what has passed without sufficient attention and appreciation. All I want is the basic freedom to connect with everything inside me to forge a natural and better coexistence with what’s happening right now so I’m better versed about what I should gratefully be introduced to in the days ahead should I be privileged enough to see them.
So here’s the point out of the abundance of contemplation. I’m better off looking at things more frequently based on the message from a favorite song: “There comes a time in everyone’s life when all you can see are the years passing by but I’ve made up my mind that those years are gone and I’m just moving on”. And that’s really it at this stage, before I reach the grand finale on this mortal stage.
It’s simply a matter of moving away from holding on too tightly to those unalterable things that can sway me towards frustration and bitterness, and choose a better existence restricted less by “what’s happened” with the freedom to be enlightened from and with a greater awareness of “what’s happening now” and how it can have a more meaningful influence on “what will happen” which will can hopefully set a more fluid and peaceful harmony with the changes that await me in MY world! It’s up to me after all this time anyways so “either I will find a way, or I will make one.” – Philip Sidney. Just thinking with hope again and not just for me but, you guys too.