Sunday, January 29, 2017

Obstacles

“Everything is exactly as it is for a reason. The crumb on your table is no mystical reminder of this morning's cookie, it is there because you have chosen not to remove it. No exceptions.”  ― Richard Bach, Illusions

What's in your way? Most likely, YOU. Things are exactly as they should be, according to the plans you've put in place. Not working out like you expected? Look in that mirror, you are in control of both right and wrong.

I like to think I never planned for my life as it is now. But in the back of my mind, I know I did. I never gave up my independence, so when I needed to stand on my own, I could. It's not always easy, but here I am. I never wanted any of it, but here it is. No, that's wrong. I wanted to be happy, and I am. No matter what happened to get me there.

The reasons we are happy (or sad) belong to us. We make our own choices. It may take some time for them to come around, so don't forget what you asked for. It's different for us all, happiness varies from person to person. But the road to it is paved the same for each: with pieces of those we love, shards of our past, and hope eternal.

The choice you made twenty years ago that just turned south? That was your doing. On the path to joy. Yet another reason to be ALL IN and make wise decisions. When that grand plan of yours works out, it may be when you least expect it and certainly don't deserve it. You let it play out all that time, and NOW you're surprised at what happened? Nothing mystical in that, you set the whole thing up.

Look carefully into your future, and be sure you want what you think you want. 

Thursday, January 26, 2017

Hurt

“We choose, ourselves, to be hurt or not to be hurt, no matter what. Us who decides. Nobody else.”  ― Richard Bach, Illusions: The Adventures of a Reluctant Messiah

And yes, we do give that power to others, quite often and in error. It's not easy to take the blame for our pain, but we allow it. You can't be heartbroken over how someone treats you if you keep that power for yourself. But how do we do that? Doesn't that mean we aren't "ALL IN," if we hold back? Sit, readers, time for a lesson...

ALL IN does not mean you get stupid. You live in a bad neighborhood. You wouldn't leave your house unlocked, your car unlocked, etc., right? That's just asking for trouble. Also known as stupid. Same thing with your heart. You want to give it up, don't be in that "bad neighborhood." You've done your research, made sure that you're in the right place, with the right person. No do-overs, so be sure. Otherwise, you're handing over the keys to a stranger. If you don't know their heart, don't give them yours. Because that's... well, stupid.

ALL IN also has a flip side: COMPLETELY OUT. Some people deserve that more than we realize. By keeping people in our lives that don't have our best interests at heart, we hand over the entire set of keys. Not just our hearts, but our minds, our souls, even our physical well-being. Keep them at as much distance as possible, and you won't have that hurt. The hurt you allow. What we condone is what we approve. They don't deserve you, don't let their toxicity hurt you. 

YOU are the master of your own happiness, as well as your own pain. Don't stop thinking, play seven level chess if you have to. Game out your reactions: if you can't shut the door to keep from being hurt, don't even answer the bell. 

Tuesday, January 24, 2017

Baggage

“We choose our next world through what we learn in this one. Learn nothing, and the next world is the same as this one, all the same limitations and lead weights to overcome.”  ― Richard Bach, Jonathan Livingston Seagull


We all come with the trappings of our past. Ex-spouses, children, bad habits, emotional scars. We choose to let it become baggage but clinging to it. There's comfort in what you know, but with that comfort comes pain. Past experiences as kids form us into the adults we become, full of fear and distance. We allow the lessons to color our future, while all along we have the power to take those crayons from the teachers and break them in half. 

We create our own heavens. And our own hells. Sometimes we drag ourselves back into them, when we've taken a few blows and are feeling vulnerable. Misery loves company, and wallowing in the past that we allowed gives us a ticket straight back to it. It's a constant fight to be positive, since being miserable is so easy. Learning how to be happy isn't something our families teach us. They just want us to survive to adulthood, where we're expected to figure things out on our own. There are no lessons in success: that seems to be OJT. 

Casting off the past is tiresome work. I've grown weary of arguing: my childhood had many wasted hours watching family fight over the stupidest things. I still try to avoid arguments, but when I am in one, look out. I have to have the last word. Bad habit. But I can't completely break it. That lesson hasn't been completed. I also am not good at second chances. I don't expect them, so I find it hard to give them. Never got a break in my life, so it's difficult to grant one.

Drop those lead weights, my readers. Much easier to fly without them...

Monday, January 23, 2017

Challenges

"It isn’t the challenge that faces us that determines who we are and what we are becoming, but the way we meet the challenge: whether we toss a match at the wreck or work our way through it, step by step, to freedom.”  ― Richard Bach, Nothing by Chance

Of course our actions matter the most. Not when we fold our cards and walk away, but when we put all our chips in and draw to an inside straight. Nobody ever said this thing called life would be easy, and if they did THEY LIED! A constant battle to keep our heads above water: sometimes we're lucky to dog paddle, other days we're floating on our backs without a care in the world. I'm more scared then than on bad days: the good ones sometimes allow us to let our guard down a little too much.

I've said before I'm not a risk taker, but I'm also not a doom and gloom person either. I try to take each day and each event on its merits. Just because it's Monday doesn't necessarily mean it will suck. 95% chance, but that five percent just might be while you're buying a lottery ticket or getting a great haircut! I am not much of an optimist, more of a realist. Show me that five percent that has an open door to success, and I'll make something good of it. 

Sometimes the best solution is to toss that match. Not everything (or everyone) is salvageable. I've walked away from things that others told me I would regret leaving. I've also stuck out relationships that would send many screaming to the hills. Knowing the difference is a fine line. I don't always have the timing down, but I eventually get the idea and pick up the gasoline can. No bridges left to cross, keeps the stragglers from chasing you down.

Sunday, January 22, 2017

Perspective

What we make of it is up to us, as the painting of the sunrise is up to the artist. - Richard Bach, One

I'm a sunrise and a sunset person, I see beauty in the new and old of each day. Indeed, what is made of it is up to us. We can marvel at the purple hues of dawn, and still be amazed that the same orb glows orange as pumpkin as it settles in the west. We can prefer the beginning of the day, fresh and without spoil; or enjoy the moments before nightfall, reflecting on the events before sleep.

Life throws us sunrises and sunsets on a regular basis. We get challenged daily, sometimes hourly. Do this, do that, do the right thing. Sometimes we're still working on one thing when another kicks in. And each decision affects the next. Make a wrong turn here, the next step is off a cliff. But what if its not a wrong turn, and you were supposed to step off the cliff? Maybe there's a bridge just a few feet below that is waiting for you. Maybe you have to make those wrong decisions to find the right ones that you never would have seen otherwise.

Every choice we make is personal, yet affects those around us. We take that into consideration, but still have to make our own way. Dig our own holes, and even step in them. Sometimes they're best used to bury the bones of bad decision. Cover them up, and step over them as we go on our way. I've twisted my ankle on some holes I forgot to fill in, but I always climb out. Nothing happens that is not of our own making, but the solutions are always within us.

Monday, January 16, 2017

Here

“I’m here not because I am supposed to be here, or because I’m trapped here, but because I’d rather be with you than anywhere else in the world.”  ― Richard Bach, The Bridge Across Forever

Given the choice, I wouldn't change a thing. Maybe some of the circumstances, maybe a few of the players, but for the most part, I am right where I want to be. Anything that needs to be different, I have to work that out for myself.

I'm not happy being alone, but I'm not miserable. Sharing the little things is great, but I don't miss dirty socks in the floor and the toilet seat being left up in the middle of the night. I'm not one of those people who need someone else to complete my life. A partner has to be the right one, not just any one. I'd rather spend eternity alone than be with settle for someone. How's that quote go? "If you have chemistry, you only need one other thing. Timing. But timing's a bitch." Yeah. A HUGE bitch, as Deuce Bigelow said.

I'm good with my friends. After the political year from HELL, and sorting out those who are apparently not who I thought they were, I have a core group that are family. Some others have went their merry way, by their own choice. A few others, I set loose with a "see ya, wouldn't want to be ya." I spend more time with online friends than real life ones, but I don't think there's much difference to me. Time and space don't hold us apart. Well, unless we let them.

So here I am. Queen of my castle, master of my fate. I have only myself to blame if things aren't what I want. And I have the power to make it different. I'm not necessarily supposed to be here, certainly not trapped here, but without a doubt it's where I want need to be.


Sunday, January 15, 2017

Measurements

"You measure your life by what you learn, not by counting how many calendars you've seen. If you're going to have trauma, better it be the shock of discovering the fundamental principle of the universe than some date predictable as next July.” ― Richard Bach, Running from Safety: An Adventure of the Spirit

Almost birthday time for me, so I can wax nostalgic about the years gone by, or the ones that lie ahead. I spend enough moments looking back, time to open up to what might be. No sense wasting time on what you can't change, just learn from it and keep on keeping on.

Lesson learned Part One: Don't allow yourself to be sucked into toxic relationships. Once you've identified them, there's only one thing to do: RUN. RUN FAR AWAY. Nobody deserves you in their life if they've hurt you. Don't fool yourself into thinking you can change them. You'll change yourself by accepting them, and they will hurt you again. 

Lesson learned Part Two: Always let people know how you feel, even if you don't like them. Don't waste your time, or theirs. Everyone you love should be able to recall the last time you said "I love you." If they can't, you need to remedy that. Now. There are no guarantees of another moment, so don't let this one go. ALL IN. Likewise, your time with people you can barely tolerate should be minimized. Move along. See Lesson One above.

Lesson learned Part Three: Never say anything you haven't thought out. You can NEVER take anything back. People say they forgive you for your words, but they lie. Not intentionally, but they can never forget. Without that, there is no forgiveness. Think long and hard about what you say, when you do say it. You will never be the same once you speak, particularly in anger. No do-overs.

Hey, those all really say the same thing. I guess I only learned one lesson. So far.