Perhaps the answers to life lie in not where we’re going, but where we have been. And maybe not so much where we have been, but who was there with us – who traveled the road with us. Who ran us off the road, who walked beside us, who helped us find the short-cuts, and who was reading the map along the way.
Now that I’m in my 60’s, I understand that our lives are touched in some way by all the people who have come in and out of our lives. If only for a moment or a day or years – our lives are somehow changed by every encounter we’ve ever had.
Every path –every person – every opinion – every compliment – every criticism – every love – every hurt – every laugh – every tear – every little thing and every single person has brought us to this very moment in time.
We may have been shaped by where we grew up and who are families were, but as we grew up and faced the world on our own – the decisions we had to make were ours. At the moment we were making these decisions, we may have thought we didn’t have a choice – but – even if you did not make a decision – that was your choice – your decision was not to decide. We have to own our decisions – at some point we need to take responsibility for our lives.
I believe we spend way too much time finding a way to blame our parents or our siblings or our friends or religion or politics or whatever you can think of for our lot in life. The simple truth is – we are responsible for our lives – we are responsible for our happiness. It’s up to each of us to make ourselves happy. No one else can possible be responsible for that – no one.
I also believe we spend far too much time trying to figure out what makes us happy and we miss out on just being happy. Life isn’t about what you have – it’s about who you are.
I read a book recently that made me understand that every day we can choose to go one way or the other. To go with the good or not go with the good. To go away from things like anger, hate, war, evil, prejudice – or – we can choose to go toward them. The choice is ours to make.
Whichever you choose to go toward – that is who you become. If you fill your life with anger and greed and hate and unrest – then it’s inevitable that you become this person – angry, arrogant, hateful, resentful, blaming, bitter…
On the other hand – go toward the good – and this is the person you become. Nonjudgmental, loving, understanding, giving, compassionate, happy, content.
It may sound easy – this going toward the good – but during the course of a day we can slip toward anger in the blink of an eye. Someone pulls in front of you on the freeway and you have to slam on your brakes to keep from hitting them – going toward anger happens before you even blink your eyes! Someone’s teasing feels more like being bullied, someone pushes your buttons simply to get an angry reaction from you, and someone plays games with your heart…
It is the wise choice – this going toward the good – but it’s not always the easy choice. Choose wisely.