Acceptance AKA “What If…”

29 09 2016

whatif

There is a school of thought or belief that the individual journey we are on is exactly the one we are supposed to be on.

It is phrased in many different ways. Perhaps you have heard things such as “it was meant to be” or “it happened for a reason”. I don’t personally subscribe to either of these but do believe, as difficult as it may seem, wherever I find myself (physically and metaphorically) is really where I am supposed to be at that moment. It took me many, many, many difficult moments, however, to finally get here.

To me, I have spent more time than I care to admit thinking about life’s more challenging moments in terms of “why is this happening?” and “what is the lesson I am to take away from it?” However, it hit me today that I have never asked myself why certain things are not happening, as well.

I am incredibly grateful for the thousands of things that don’t happen to me and people I care about every day – illness, grief, pain, loss – particularly when these very things afflict so many innocent people all the time.

But what about all the good things that are not happening and seem to be so far out of reach and why stew on this today? Well, I am traveling for a few days and always feel doubly melancholy when I’m away from my kids and not within a 5 mile radius. Luckily, I’m on the same time zone, so it could be worse. With each time zone, it gets exponentially worse, in fact.

This made me realize that so many of the “dreams” that I have for myself – which all revolve around creative pursuits – would be pretty difficult to activate fully without a significant amount of travel, which would invariably take me away from my children a lot more and given the fact that homes schooling isn’t an option, probably for the best. So, what if, and I hesitate to even suggest this at the risk of sounding too “airy fairy”, but what if the universe was holding back knowing that it’s simply not the right time for this?

What if we had the knowledge that what we are going through and experiencing, both good and bad, is all purposeful because, believe it or not, this is the exact right time to experience it – as long as we did not miss the opportunity to take from it the lesson of its intent to move us forward on our journey? Similarly, what if we also knew that those things we long for so achingly may not present themselves just yet because it is simply not the right time? What if we had patience and faith and ignored all those self-help books that give us 10 steps to achieving all our goals in the next year?

I’m going to have to keep thinking about this one but I think there’s something there. Glorious, painful and mysterious all at once – just like life.

Until next time,

Marc





What if things DO work out for you?

21 01 2015

bobtees_surprise

As I mentioned in a recent blog post, I started meditating a few times a week (or trying, at least). One of the mediations I have chosen to do involves visualizing your perfect day and ultimately your ideal future.

This is a fairly new concept for me. I am not sure if it is conditioned via my upbringing, cultural, genetic or otherwise, but I have spent the better part of my life planning contingencies for what if things don’t work out – including finding a job, graduate school, saving money, trying to think of every possible objection to a work presentation, having a regular will, having a living will..you get the picture. Maybe this is why I think about death so much! (That’s a “call back” to an earlier blog post for those of you paying attention).

Anyway, I decided as my procrastination de jour today to google “what if things DO work out”. I got a lot of responses back about actual exercise work-outs and then the inevitable “what if things don’t work out”. Even google assumed that I made a spelling error.

Then I tried googling “what if you DO succeed”, “what if you ARE successful”…you get the point. Every time I got back the opposite or in some cases, the pitfalls of actually getting what you want – I guess like that supposed ancient proverb of “be careful what you wish for, you might get it.”

Is it possible that we are all conditioned to focus on the negative and wallow in self-help books, daily motivational quotes and affirmations wherever we can get them to manage the disappointment of simply being human? This seems to me counterproductive to the whole process of progress and innovation.

My whole point is not that it really ultimately matters one way or the other whether things “work out” or not. Some things will. Some things won’t – even when they appear to be skewed one way or the other for you or for others. We never really know what someone wants, needs or gets. We only see what we think they want, need or get.

What I think does matter, at least for me, is that the possibility of something working out really is as good as the possibility of it not working out. I have to remember that. It’s probably not a revelation to a lot of people but it’s not a bad surprise when it does happen.

In the meantime, I have to stop procrastinating and focus more on the other type of “work out”.

Until next time,

Marc








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