Everyone comes to a fork in the road – a place in life where they say “no more” while seeking “no less.” They realize that life cannot continue at the insane pace we tend to pursue – that running towards a goal must be more important than running from something – but that both become equally important when we allow fear and emotion to drive our decisions. We eventually (and inevitably) run into a wall when our dreams for the future are met equally (and convincingly) by our memories of the past – locking us firmly into a “present” that is not growing, fulfilling or likely to change.
Some might say that “when we quit learning, growing or changing we die.” Perhaps it would be better to simply say “ENOUGH” and move on without fighting, crying or struggling – without senselessly holding on to what we have (particularly that which does not contribute to our own or other’s growth) by over-valuing what has been (using our past accomplishments as destinations rather than foundations) rather than seeking what has not yet been revealed (looking over our shoulder to where we have been instead of ahead to where we wish to go). When you quiet your soul and vanquish your fears – calm your apprehensions and begin to recognize that the light at the end of the tunnel into which you have entered may not be a train coming at you but rather a beacon leading you towards a dream that has yet to be realized – you enter into a new world of possibilities that sees life
through a lens of “what could be” as an achievable alternative to “what has always been.”
We all awaken to a time we realize that our hoping for someone to give us something we do not have must stop – that we can no longer wait for change to “just happen” or happiness, safety and security to be waiting for our discovery around the next corner. We must consciously and intentionally act to initiate change. We must come to terms with the reality we all have strengths (and weaknesses) as well as beauty (and warts) – that nobody can (without intentional thoughts and actions) live like “Prince Charming” or “Cinderella” waiting to find or discover happiness in which to live ever after. We must realize that life cannot be a fairy tale unless (and until) we recognize that peace and serenity is born through an acknowledgement of our own imperfections and an acceptance of the imperfections of others. Once we awaken to realize that life must necessarily be an ever-melding mix of hopes, dreams, accomplishments and expectations – a fluid state of flux rather than a static state of entitlement – we can cast off the chains that hold us back so we can reach out to grasp the lifelines that will pull us forward.
As we travel through life we realize that people do not always say what they mean or mean what they say – that not everyone will always be there for us (though someone or a group of trusted individuals WILL BE if we allow it) nor is life ever “all about you and you alone.” We must learn to stand on our own and take care of ourselves – building safety and security through our self-reliance (which, unlike an island, cannot truly survive life’s storms without external support). We must stop complaining about other people and blaming them for things they may have done, instead looking to undo what we ourselves may not have done and learning that the only certainty we can count on is the unexpected entering our lives. We must stop judging and pointing fingers and start accepting others as they are – overlooking their shortcomings and accepting their human frailties – if we are ever to accept ourselves as being similarly fragile and equally as imperfect while striving to grow and succeed.
We view ourselves (and the world around us) through a filter born of the messages and opinions ingrained in us throughout our childhood then reinforced by the successes or failures – the acceptances or rejections – we have experienced as adults. Only when we begin to sift through the “junk” we have been fed about how to behave, what to wear, how to act and what to value – to determine what is real and important to us rather than reaching towards what was expected to be valued and significant for us by others – will we learn to open ourselves up to new worlds and different points of view. We cannot begin to reassess and redefine who we are and what we really stand for until we recognize that our individuality is shaped by both external influences and internal desires, and that we must come to own what we can initiate and accept what we cannot change before we can move forward in life.
As we awaken to the possibilities of life we begin to learn the difference between wanting and needing – discarding the doctrines and values we have outgrown or should never accepted to begin with as we follow our hearts, instincts and consciences. We learn that it is truly in giving that we will receive – that we can discover fulfillment and accomplishment through our creating and contributing ONLY if we stop maneuvering through life as a consumer long enough to recognize that creation and consumption are distinctly different paths leading towards opposing and conflicting objectives. We must learn the differences between guilt and responsibility to thrive. We must learn the importance of setting boundaries and knowing when to say “no” when necessary rather than always saying “yes” for when we extend ourselves beyond what we are capable by doing to relieve the pressure on those around us we may actually stifle the growth of others while reducing our own ability to try (initiate or master) new things.
In the depths of our confusion when we find ourselves at an inexplicable fork in the road we come to realize that, for the most part, we get from life what we believe we deserve (whether that be good or bad) and that much of life is a self-fulfilling prophecy. In order to achieve success we need to believe that success is probable (or at least possible). We must recognize that anything worth achieving is worth working for – and that wishing for something to happen is far different than working towards making it happen. In order to initiate change we need to identify a destination we wish to achieve, establish a direction we will travel, then exhibit discipline and perseverance to stay on track. Before embarking upon a journey of change, however, it is important that we recognize nobody can do everything alone and it is OK to ask for help (and not a weakness of shortcoming to accept it) as we move forward.
When feel that an impossibly large load has been dumped in front of us in life – that there is no reasonable or realistic way to get around the obstacle in front of us – we may come to realize life is not always “fair.” We do not always get what we think we deserve and sometimes bad things truly do happen to good people. We must learn to fight for what we want in life, however, rather than living under a cloud of impending doom if we hope to understand that fear of failure is not the only impediment to our growth – that a fear of success (and the unknown that accompanies it) may be an equally binding tie that binds us where we are, keeping us from moving towards what we could become.
We all awaken to a new dawn each day we rise. If we are to make the most from the days we are given we must learn from our failures rather than allowing ourselves to be buried by them. When we face life with and attitude of “Why Not?” rather than wallowing in one of “Why Me?” we seek the path leading towards the “what might be possible” rather than settling for “what is and will never change.” When we courageously live our lives “as they could be” rather than being content to find comfort in “what they are” we will find ourselves awakened to a world of possibilities. Share your world with those around you so that you all may gain and grow through your independent and intentional discoveries.