And so it goes . . .
We’ve been here before. We’ve been through tough times. We’ve seen harder days and better ones too. But hey, this is life and there are no guarantees. The second show is never the same as the first but then again, you only get one shot. So, there is no second show.
What I am about to do is share a brutal piece of honesty with you. It’s not pretty. But pretty or not, truth is still truth.
We can’t recreate the past. We can’t take back what was said nor can we uncross the boundaries. In the end, when we face the anxiety of humiliation and exploitation, the question is no longer why or or how did this happen. Instead, the question becomes what am I going to do about it?
How am I going to improve?
It all starts from a trickle, like a droplet from a faucet. It’s an idea that begins at the size of a grain of sand. And then it grows. It’s a thought based condition. The droplet becomes an open flood-gate. It’s an idea that grows and takes shape.
Thoughts take form in the mind and then suddenly, we create a scenario in the mind, which is complete with a fully imaginative video – almost like a movie, like a psychological tragedy which is complete with all the characters in our life and leads a plot that is unfortunate or tragic.
We create a concept in our mind that hits all the triggers and hits every alarm in our anxiety system. Next, we’ve thought ourselves into “Red-Alert” status.
What I am about to share with you comes from a personal perspective. And I agree; opinions are subjective. Perhaps life is subjective as well. However, our differences do not have to mean that we have to fight or argue.
Deep down, I do believe that we all want the good things. We all want success. We want ease. We want joy and, equally, we want to be valid and enjoyed. We want to be included and regarded.
In most cases, yes, there are exceptions to the norm; however, most people are good at heart. I would argue that there are times when goodness is hard to see. I will say there are times when peace seems more of an impossibility than just unlikely. Nevertheless, as good as people are; even good people are capable of bad things. We all make mistakes. We all say things that we wish we could take back. Ignorance is not prejudice – even if we are. Ignorance isn’t.
Again, I go back to the quote from Twain when he said, “Man is the only animal that blushes. Or needs to.”
There is something to this. Deep inside the shame-machine, I know there has to be a conscience. I know that there is training behind hatred yet we know the difference between right and wrong. Intellectually, we understand the difference between kind and hurtful.
In short, we have to allow for changes. We have to understand that not everything will go as planned and, in fact, not all plans will account for every obstacle.
There will be miscalculations. There will be setbacks. There will be the unexpectedness of natural events. Yet, there will also be days like this when the sun shines and the world awaits us.
So, fix your grin and be ready for it all.
There will be slips and falls and inaccurate assumptions too. As a matter of fact, there’s a word for all of this. It’s called life. Be ready to live it.
I wonder now.
Where was I on this day back in 1988? I wonder, for example, the math that went into deciding my turns or predicting my future. I say this because if at all, if we are anything; we are most certainly an outcome. And now as I approach you with this thought, although my time in math class with word problems is far distant from me now, the idea of finding the outcome in a mathematical equation means the possible result that depends on probability.
I pause here to warn you that I was never an exceptional student – especially in math or science or especially in understanding probabilities. I say this and admit that intellectually, I understood the basic math of me plus you. It was the emotional math that was often miscalculated
Years ago, it seemed to be that there was a group of people who decided the standards of cool or pretty. I don’t know why this is. I don’t know who gets to decide what is fashionable and what isn’t.
Years ago, there was the popular side of the lunchroom. There was the social draw or the need to fit in and be part of a group.
Identity and identification is everything and so are the politics. Who are you? Who are your friends? It is ideas like this which dictated and determined your status of popularity.
There are words like “if” or “when.” I hear them spoken in ways like “When” or
If this is something that you can understand or if “when” has become the determining factor of what you do; or if the word “if” and “when” determine how you’ll succeed; or, if you believe that this is the best you can be (but you want more) or “if” there is something holding you back like a mindset or a belief – or “if” you’ve become limited by an opinion; or, if you think the world just doesn’t work out like it’s supposed to – and there you are, alone in your thoughts. Or, “if” you seem alone in your life and no one really gets it. Or, what about your moods?
I was never much for sports, which is not to say that I did not enjoy the idea of playing or have the urge to have fun. However, there is a saying that comes to mind. This saying was something that I heard at a young age and while I am no longer young, I still wonder why people say, “It doesn’t matter if you win or lose. It’s how you play the game.”
That’s what counts, right?
I think of this and say to myself, “Sure. Now, go tell this to someone who is always picked last.”
See how they feel about this.
I like to think about this.
There was a dirt road that led out from in front of the house, past the barn, and down to the main road, which was long as ever, mainly empty, and always quiet. I had never seen places like this before. I suppose a part of me never knew towns like this existed. At least, not in real life. All I knew was all I had only known, which was my usual routine life, alive and unwell, and living crazy near the city. I never knew anything about small towns or small town life. I certainly never knew what it was like to be greeted by a stranger who said “hello” just because this was the right thing to do. As far as I knew, most strangers who say hello are looking for something. No one was ever kind for no reason, or so I thought.
This is easier than you think . . .
People ask if there’s a secret to being helpful. The truth is there is no secret. There are natural ingredients that we have as people which, perhaps, not everyone is as in tune with this. But still, we all have the ability to listen. We all have the need to be heard. We have the need to be understood and the desire to be acknowledged.