TO STOP, TO START, TO NEGOTIATE, TO COMPROMISE, TO MAKE WAR, TO HOPE LOVE WILL FIND THE WAY. NO EASY ANSWERS
Part of being a WOO is looking back and seeing what might have been. We shipped boxes of memories of what I think of as our intellectual property from NYC to Denver when we moved here. Two years later and I am still going through them trying to keep some, trying to let go of much. Many of the memories are sustaining and satisfying; but many are pain remembered; time does not end all past pain. When you are lucky, some hurts find a perspective that comforts, but some live as strong as the day of their birth. Then there are the new pains created by “What might have been.”
My “What might have been” are the projects that never got finished. Saddest are the ones that I see had great merit, but never got finished. I was told when I published my two books to stay focused on becoming a parenting expert. Sad to say I definitely have what the Buddhists call a Monkey Mind and the experts say is Attention Deficit Disorder. I focus but sadly on many things.
Lack of focus is definitely part of the problem for here I sit, eating, reading a post on part of my computer screen, writing this and looking at the puzzle book lying open, glancing occasionally out the doors to our patio inviting me to see what’s going on in that world. Yesterday, it was a mother or father Robin teaching the art of flying to one of its own. Made me glad few cats wander around on the complex’s lawn and that rabbits don’t eat robins. See how I digress.
Monkey mind is only part of the problem, however. My learning disability is there also, and plays a major role; not the disability itself, but the shame and fear it creates. Shame when I read something I have put out there and see a mistake that probably discourages readers and makes me appear lazy or dumb. I am neither, but what I know doesn’t cancel what others think based on not knowing me. Stigma is a problem because of the pain it inflicts.
Pain is a signal to step away from what is hurting you. I have stepped away from many projects because someone criticized what I was doing. Being different in almost anyway leaves the door open for shame and fear to bruise both your mind and heart. Some would say “Don’t be so sensitive.” The problem with lots of advice remains how easy it is to give, and how hard to follow. Moreover, for whatever reason I am sensitive, both a weakness and a strength. So my sensitivity saw me stepping away when someone was critical, particularly without adding any encouragement.
Now I see that many of the projects I stopped because of someone else’s criticism were good. Many, if finished that would have furthered my mission to make the world better. I also see a few that would have allowed my business “To Make Money Doing Good.” It has never been out of the red.
Enough of what appears to be just a whine–we WOOS can be either Wise Old Ones or Whining Old Ones. I am wallowing a bit, but not totally in what might have been. I may have boxes full of half-finished projects, but I also have several boxes of finished projects that I point to with pride. Finally, I also see projects that can be put back on the try to finish list.
Part of life on the Downhill Slope is knowing you are nearing the end and that the wisest lives are lived making sure you hit bottom having done all you could to make the journey the best it could be. That requires focusing on what matters. My hopes are to finish my novel, strengthen Emotional Fitness Training, Inc. so it can be sold to someone who will carry it forward, and most of all to honor and enjoy my children and their children. The last comes first and is my choice and I think the wise choice.
My father said to me near the end of his Downhill Ride, “I wish I had spent more time with you and your brothers.”
I would have loved that, but I was also able to say, “You had other pressures and the time you spent with us was wonderful.”
If I have such a conversation with my sons, I want them to say, “You gave us lots of time when we needed it and it was almost always good and we have some very wonderful memories.”
This is a link to articles about compromise politically, but I think speak to all choices all of us make and I am talking about choice.
Staying strong tip: Know your choices and own them. Chance plays a part in life and there are things we do not control, the good life comes from knowing what we can and can’t do and making conscious choices that keep us on the path to a life we will feel when it ends that it has been well lived.
Share, care, and stay strong.
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