Tuesday, July 1, 2014

My Most Fortunate Mistakes

I have done some doozies in my time, let me tell you!! But some of the things I have kicked myself for, repeatedly, have turned out to be exactly the right thing to do, and have saved my @$$ in the long run... I thought that losing Seattle was a mistake, that I was leaving my home... And I was. But that move allowed me the key piece of information that I needed to take better care of myself: that dry air does me better. That allowed me a larger window in which to function, and ultimately got me to the better place I am today.

I have "chronic foot-in-mouth disease," but that opened the doorway to a whole set of new friends I never knew I could have. I though once I had lost the love of my life, and it turned out I dodged a bullet! I mean, there are some crazy twist and turns in life that I never thought could happen, good and bad, but I'll tell you something that has always helped me was a healthy sense of how lucky I am.

Oh sure, I've wine the health lottery in all the wrong ways, but I still have a mind. I still have enough good in my life to build success. I am super high maintenance, but in the most low maintenance way. Really, it is stupidly easy to make me happy. If I could be self-sufficient, the world would be right in so many ways. It's important that I keep the faith until it works out.

Funny thing is, about giving up.... That doesn't mean that you can't start again. All of us get knocked in the dirt a while. It's not about that. It's about making the right decisions, and sticking by the beliefs that make you, you... Not matter what darkness in your life may fall. Be responsible, and the world will reward you. Hang in there, keep trying, and even the mistakes we make can end up being a blessing in disguise.

If we just though about it for ten seconds, we'd realize that the problems we had ten years ago are not the same as the problems we have today. Some have gotten worse, but some have gotten better, and there is something to be thankful for if we think about it long enough.

We are constantly evolving creatures. Heavy weights that used to hang on my heart have been lifted. Not because of any sort of spiritual experience, but just because I got new information that changed my perspective on everything. What I once though was a terrifying experience, I later learned was an act of bravery. Little things, where I though I had failed, but I hadn't. Things aren't always how I see them to be. And that can have terrible consequences, or wonderful ones. And what we think is terrible turns into wonderful and vice versa.

Things change. We change. My concerns at 30 we're not the same as they are at 40, and certainly not the worries I had when I was 20! I *am* getting better and wiser with each stride, even the missteps... Especially the missteps. Because it is only when we are in free-fall, sure that our ass is about to kiss the pavement any second now and we have two choices. The correct choice is NOT "brace for impact." That will leave you stiff, and bones will break. The trick is: RELAX.

Yes, I know unintended free-fall is terrifying. I know you want to reach out in desperation to catch yourself, but that can cause more damage than just a fall would, if what we grab for is sharp, hard, or unfit to support our weight. It's terrifying to realize the pain of impact is coming. We want to save ourselves from that fate. We want to cling to something that can save us, and can pull down our lives around our ears as a result. (Or worse, other people...) But as long as we try to resist the situation, we're concentrating on denial, instead of learning acceptance.

First, if I relax, I have less chance of injuring myself or others. Second, if I relax, instead of trying to say "this isn't happening!!!" I can instead say, "this is happening, what's my best option?" And sometimes in these terrifying moments, if we can relax, we can see that key insight we need to save our butt from the fire. A lot of times, I can tap into my dancing muscle memory and use my momentum to collapse on the couch instead of the counter, and I count my lucky stars. Other times, I just need to relax through the landing, and hope I don't hurt myself too bad. Still other times, I can think it's free-fall, but it's an illusion, and I'm really on solid ground, not falling at all.

-- Relax. When you know you're going to be reunited with the Laws of Physics in a harsh way, relax.
-- Look on the bright side. When everything is at it's darkest, that's when a candle shines as bright as the sun.
-- Realize that time changes things, and our biggest worries can turn around in an instant with just a piece of information we didn't have before.
-- Forgive yourself your mistakes, and realize that not all mistakes turn out like we think. Life is full of so many surprises, and we could be completely incorrect about what we though we did wrong.
-- Be true to people. This world is hard, and fairness something rarely seen. We should be good for the sake of goodness, because there's not enough in the world.

I'm so grateful for these mistakes... Sometimes it is wonderful to be wrong.


  1. I needed that advice today. I've had an issue with "time" these days as I've been watching things get away from me while in an ugly flare. Time changes things and you're so very right that it changes in an instant. You never know when for the good.

    1. Seems like quite a few of us have been in a long, ugly flare... You're not alone. Hang in there...