Friday, April 3, 2009

Along For The Ride

I had forgotten that I am along for the ride.

I have had the blues for a while. I suspect this is the hangover from the everything that has happened these last few months. During a conversation yesterday morning, I told someone that while I loved my job and the freedom and income it gives me, I wish I had a sunnier disposition. She very wisely told me that sunny dispositions are useless if they are forced...she then wrote,
"I don't buy into "you are the master of your own universe" theory all the time. I believe that sometimes, you are simply the passenger..."

Its funny how in times of duress you can easily fall back into old habits of being. I had always been one of those men who sought to impose his will on the universe. I got easily frustrated and irritated if someone or something got in the way of my plan. I also ended up fighting the universe and guess who was loosing.

Someone who was once very close to me observed recently that one result of this approach to life was that I did not always appreciate what I had and that I had closed myself to other possibilities. She was right of course, I had known that for a while. By thinking I was not ready for certain things that I was offered, I missed a great many opportunities to experience additional joy and love. I was fixated on how I thought things ought to be so I did not appreciate my kids, my career, and I did not love her as I might have. My relationship with my kids suffered and I ended up loosing someone very important to me.

During the course of this past year, a series of events led me to the conclusion that I needed to go along for the ride, to be open to what each moment offered, and to appreciate what I have. I stopped fighting the universe, and for the first time, I was able to fully appreciate what I had and who I had. I dealt with disappointment with far more grace than I had before, I was a more patient parent, and I was better able to ride out the ups and downs of the mortgage industry. And perhaps more telling, I was able to appreciate and enjoy a terrific woman and while it was all too brief, enjoy what was really the best relationship I had ever had with a woman. By accepting what I was offered, I was able to experience each moment for what it offered while trying not to force it into my own agenda. My life was far from perfect, but it was rich and satisfying.

When things started to unravel at the end of January (its funny how certain dates and times stick in your head), I reverted back to my habitual way of dealing with life, by trying to impose my will on things (people and circumstances) that were largely beyond my control. I wanted things one way but clearly life was handing me something quite different. Its only been during the last week or so have I come to understand that painful and difficult times also offer an opportunity to learn and to grow. Once again, I realized that I was fighting the universe and I was loosing.

This is not to say that I am without dreams and goals and aspirations. There are things I want for myself that I struggle and scratch and claw to obtain. Nor am I under any delusion about the circumstances of my life. Being a de facto single parent is tough and there are other things about my life that I would change in a second if I had the power to do so. But I can only control what I do, how I respond to what the universe hands me, and how I deal with life's disappointments and opportunities.

Life happens whether you are ready for it or not. We are given opportunities to experience great joy and satisfaction and at other times, we are compelled to experience soul wrenching pain and deep loss. Of course there is everything in between. These are the realities that life, in all of its beautiful and sometimes awful splendor, provides. How we face these realities is a choice we all have to make. Regardless of what I face, and what I am feeling, I will try to appreciate what each moment offers and try to be mindful that I am along for the ride. After all, maybe sometimes the universe knows better than I whats best for me.

1 comment:

  1. I lived most of my life trying to control everything and everyone. I learned that there is someone else in the driver's seat! Whether you believe in God or not, He's driving you around while you make decisions along the way...quite like you said already! lol