Tuesday, April 28, 2015

We Build Our Own Prisons

Odd title, I know.

I was thinking about the situations that people find themselves in that make them unhappy.  It goes without saying that bad things happen to good people.  Those things are rarely anticipated and usually have the effect of blindsiding the individual.  But, what about the aftermath?  Well, quite simply, its a choice as to how we respond to the blindsides.  Always, always, always ... its a choice.  We can wallow in victim mode indefinitely or, we can get up and move forward.

I've always been a firm believer that our minds and/or thoughts are our most powerful tools.  Where your thinking goes, so goes your life.  All of that brings me back around to the title of my post.  If we stay in victim mode, we are in a prison of our own making.  We can stay miserable, we can wallow, we can blame but, we won't move forward.  Sometimes breaking down those prison walls means admitting that the status quo is no longer working.  It means that we have to have the courage to envision something better for ourselves and move toward it.  And, it is damned hard.  No one ever said it would be easy.  There will be pain.

The thing about taking control of our lives is that no matter how hard the journey is, its ours to plan ... our bus to drive.  It is terrifying and freeing and occasionally sad and often hopeful.  It is saying no to things that no longer serve us and hello to possibilities for real joy.  It is unearthing that self that was buried for so long under layers of someone else's vision.  Its a work in progress and it means being braver than you've ever felt on any given day.  And, its worth it to walk out into the sunlight of our own dreams.

Monday, April 27, 2015

A Blog Name and Random Changes

I haven't blogged for a year.  No excuses ... just didn't want to, had other things going on.  Life just has a way of happening and, before you know it, a year has flown past and, along with it, many changes have taken place.  And that brings me back around to the creation of my blog.

I was in a bad spot when I first began to blog and express myself through writing.  It was all I could do to get through my days so, I would write about the things that were hurting me.  I heard the song by One Republic entitled 'Marching On' and it really resonated with me ... especially the part about 'putting one foot in front of the other.'  There were days when that was all I could do.

In the aftermath of pain, people go about rebuilding their lives ... they frequently try to 'get their lives back.'  But, all along, the only constant is change.  It wasn't the same life, I wasn't the same person.  I ran across this quote by Heraclitus in some of my readings:

No man steps into the same river twice.  It is not the same river and he is not the same man.

This is a very simple yet profound metaphor.  We cannot go through life-changing events and stay the same ... nor were we meant to.  Maybe we are awakened to wanting more, maybe we decide what will truly make a more meaningful life and, most importantly, we grow.  We are changed. I was changed ... I was not the same woman, it was not the same life.  

The one constant thing about change though ... it is going to happen whether you are ready or not.  A profound event calls for a profound reaction.  You either let it run over you or ... as the song goes ... continue putting one foot in front of the other.  So, maybe this blog has come full circle.  From pain, to the mundane events of life, back to pain ... or maybe not pain so much as growth and change.  The take away for me is that you can never get too comfortable planning your perfect life because it all can change in a heartbeat.  This is not necessarily a pessimistic view for the simple fact that life can present you with pain and then turn around and give you unexpected joy.  Its not personal, its just life.