Saturday, January 16, 2010

How the heck did I get here?

I must have taken a wrong turn at Albuquerque. Whose life is this anyway? God has a sense of humor! Where did I go wrong? I just want to know, “How the heck did I get here?”

As I reflect back, I know I was unrealistic. I know that my ego was writing out the wish list of what I was to become. I also know that the “lifestyle fairy” does not come and tap us on the head with her sparkly wand bestowing us with abundance, eternal youth and physical prowess, and lots of toys just because we wish for them, or that we are simply “good people”. These things, if fortunate to enter our lives, take work, a little luck, and patience. Maybe a large cardboard check from Publisher’s Clearing House wouldn’t hurt either.

The reality is we have free will with no reset button. We age and sometimes not gracefully. Our six pack abs from our twenties can look like fifty pounds of chewed gum by our forties. The long Bon Jovi hair from our youth can dwindle to resemble that of arm hair. The Camaro and Z Cavarici’s end up being a minivan and mom jeans. We can go from being track stars, to where the only time we run now is when we hold down the “X” button on the controller, or dash to get to the baby before he topples down the steps. It’s okay.

Where I am now is a culmination of many, many events that come together in this jam session called “my life”. The momentum of events, choices, locations, serendipity, and random cosmic events all come together like a man spinning plates in a vaudeville act. As we try to keep balance of all the events we can possibly control in our lives, eventually one of the plates may wobble and topple and if our attention is diverted. It falls, therefore changing the balance and dynamic. Life then takes on a whole new turn.

Right now is a result of all events, both good and bad, that create a perfect recipe of my existence. I have some great stories as a result. I have encountered challenges as many have. I have battled everything from addiction, estrangement, financial distress, pain, personal drama, business challenges, fear, and they all brought me to where I am now.

I have a beautiful wife and two kids, and my parents and in-laws are all alive and healthy. I have a business with great staff and clients. I have travelled and have seen many things. I have written a book. Currently I have a house, clothes, and food in the fridge. Life is alright. These too brought me to where I am.

If God were to allow me to perhaps eliminate some of the undesirable events in my life, I do not know what I would eliminate. One would think, “the bad stuff”, but those too made me stronger, grateful, and resilient. Not only that, since life’s events are so intertwined and we do not know where they either began or will end, my event elimination could be catastrophic.

Perhaps my choice to eliminate one thing may take me on a path to where I never met my wife. Therefore, I would have no kids or at least not the ones I so dearly love now. Would I still be alive? Would I be homeless or rich? I cannot afford the gamble, nor is “what-iffing” productive.

I found there are a few keys to dealing with life’s little stand-up routine.

Acceptance: We do not have to always like something, but we do indeed have to accept it. We have three choices here. Work on it, forget about it, or accept it. For example, if my weight is an issue: I can work out, find someone who likes fluffier people, or remove my mirrors and install dimmer switches. Complaining only adds to the problem and will probably raise my blood pressure to boot. Acceptance just acknowledges the truth of something and peels off my personal labels.

Forgiveness: Forgiveness of ourselves and others does not mean there is no accountability. Forgiveness most often deals with past issues. The past is gone, yet the accountability is where the lessons are learned. We can also forgive, yet love someone from a distance if their presence is painful. Most importantly though, when we forgive, we let go of the retribution and attachment to yesterday which slows us down from soaring through right now.

Control: If we wonder how we got here in respect to the fact we “lost control”, we must accept we never entirely had it. We can control our responses, we can work on our actions, but we are still at the mercy of everything from others, to the weather, and many events happening around us like a giant game of Plinko that will continually nudge us and knock us around. The best thing here is to refer back to acceptance.

Expectations: Our expectations must remain realistic and in proportion to the effort we put in them, and to whom we are holding their manifestation accountable. I have found it best to place expectations on others as I would be comfortable them being placed on me. I will fail at times, so will others. Try not to get too disappointed.

Faith: This is simply belief without seeing. Where you put your faith is personal. Faith though, is having a positive outlook that things will be as they should be, and that they will be eventually alright, and we are in good hands. It is the storms that show us where our leaks are, but it is also the storms that bring the rainbows. Since the future is a picture we paint in our minds; try to pick the brighter colors.

How the heck did I get here? I got here by a beautifully orchestrated mix of success and failure, gain and loss, and lots of patience and love. At least I took the scenic route. Even though I am growing too tall for my hair, and when I turned forty my stomach looked up at my chest and said, "You can let go now", I am fine with it all. Life does not come with a GPS and all I can do is try to stay between the ditches as I move along.


TirzahLaughs said...

We are the deliverers of our own destinies.

I have things I'd change. I would have went into the Peace Corps. I would have spent more time with my nephew and brothers before they died.

I'd have told my mother to suck it back in high school when people will forgive you for being honest.

So here I am, half-grown and with no idea of who I want to be when I grow up.

I'm not sure I couldn't have done better. Now I have no idea what I want. So I drift.

Isn't it strange?

We still on a journey and none of know where we're going.


YogaSavy said...

The ups and downs of life that we go through helps towards our growth as human beings and in our trust to the higher being. Without those experiences I would not be where i am today. Life is like a box of chocolates each one is a surprise!

Healing Morning said...

I was thoroughly entertained by your post, right down to the Z Cavaricci's (had a boyfriend who wore those, hadn't thought of them in YEARS) and the Lifestyle Fairy. Where IS she, by the way? Dawdling in some convenient sparkling fairy flower meadow, no doubt, completely ignoring the fact that she should be paying the occasional visit on we mere mortals.

'Tis true, 'tis true, life is never quite as we envision in our youth. Perhaps that is the greatest blessing, hmm? As you did, I took many a scenic route, visited a few overlooks, by-passes and threw myself down in the occasional flower bedecked field of the non-fairy inhabited variety. Those detours gave my life depth, honed my character and painted richness into my Soul. I wouldn't change those experiences.

I look forward to reading your posts - it is nice to "meet" someone of like mind, who writes with the occasional touch of whimsy, yet manages to convey deep messages and truths. Write on, my newly discovered friend!

~ Dawn


Life, the rollercoaster ride. I liked your image of having grown too tall for your hair :)

Brent said...

Yes, I used to have this conversation with a girlfriend. She wished she could go back and change things and I would say that I wouldn't. THere are many things I am sorry had to happen, but I wouldn't change them as that would be like giving up the "me" that I am. Bob Dylan said "Behind every beutiful thing, there's been some kind of pain." and testing refines us into our best selves (or not, there is a choice)

lena said...

That is so beautifully written and greatly expressed. We all have regrets and failures in life, but in the end of the day these failures made us who we are. I would not change them for anything, they led me where I am now and I am happy about it :)

Tony Anders said...

Thank you each and every one for your input. It seems we all converge on this point together yet uniquely in some way. Thanks as always!

Anonymous said...

Tony, even though I only recenlty started following you blog, I am really enjoying your posts and see you as a fellow seeker of wisdom. I have been given the honor of an award from a fellow blogger and I have chosen your blog as one of the blogs I am to pass the award onto. It is over at my blog under today's post and the rules for the award are explained in my post as well.

Best wishes


Ruth said...

:-) Fun post!

It was interesting to hear about the variety of experiences that have made up your life.

This paragraph really resonates with me: "If God were to allow me to perhaps eliminate some of the undesirable events in my life, I do not know what I would eliminate. One would think, “the bad stuff”, but those too made me stronger, grateful, and resilient. Not only that, since life’s events are so intertwined and we do not know where they either began or will end, my event elimination could be catastrophic."

God is sovereign and always has a reason for working things out and allowing things to happen the way they do: always for the best, always for His glory.

Thanks for sharing your thoughts on this.

Charlotte (using EFT for ADD symptoms) said...

"One would think, “the bad stuff”, but those too made me stronger, grateful, and resilient. "

beautiful post.. thank you for the inspiration, and thank you for putting yourself in the FB thread, so I could find you!



Deb said...

This is great... we really do just have to live out each day and embrace every stage of life with grace and poise.
You write so beautifully... I am glad I found you on here. :)