"The man who complains about the way the ball bounces is likely to be the one who dropped it."
"In the long run, we shape our lives, and we shape ourselves. The process never ends until we die. And the choices we make are ultimately our own responsibility.”
"Ninety-nine percent of all failures come from people who have a habit of making excuses."
George Washington Carver
"All blame is a waste of time. No matter how much fault you find with another, and regardless of how much you blame him, it will not change you."
I did not get my way much of today. I felt like I allowed other people and other circumstances to make my choices for me. I was complaining about all of it when my Muse spoke to me. Among all the things she said, here is what I remember. Some are direct quotes and some are paraphrases.
· You’re an adult.
· You planned this.
· You decided to do this.
· This should not be hard.
· You are fulfilling one of your goals.
· There are advantages to your situation. Look for them.
It’s humbling when someone confronts me with the truth, necessary, but humbling. After these messages were delivered, I felt lighter, happier, and full of love and peace. and I knew I had received the true lesson I needed to learn. I realized that I had created my world and if things weren’t going my way, I had created that, too. I have said many times, here and elsewhere, that our lives are largely the results of our choices, both good and bad. If we like our lives or certain parts of it, we simply need to repeat the choices and behaviors that brought us there. For the parts we don’t like, we need stop or alter those choices and behaviors. That seems simplistic, but it’s true.
Yes, there may be times when events occur that seem completely out of our control, like being in a car accident that was completely the other driver’s fault. But rarely has there been a time in my life where I didn’t say, “Here’s what I would have done differently.” As I reflect on my own life, specifically my adulthood, there are very few incidents where I was robbed of choice completely. I say this not to condemn or blame myself. Often I did the best I could with the knowledge I had at the time.
There were, however, many times I did not do my best. There were times I took shortcuts or avoided doing my best altogether. There were times I allowed fear, laziness, or a negative attitude rule over me. I knew better and I didn’t do my best. Nor did I display the best attitude.
After writing hundreds of blogs encouraging people to Get Started and to Keep Going, one would think that I would always be in a state of peace, of self-acceptance, and of acceptance of my circumstances. Sadly, I still find myself complaining…too often. I complain at red lights and other traffic conditions. I complain at long lines. I complain about company policies of places where I do business, because they seemed designed to annoy, rob, and harass the customer. The worst part that I do it in front of my kids.
I don’t want to be this way any longer. My Muse helped to realize this. She also reminded me that I can always choose my own actions and when I can’t, I can choose my attitude. In the past I’ve often done neither, allowing others to make decisions for me, and then being angry and resentful.
With regard to my anger, my Muse had something to say about that, too. She said, with a comforting and healing smile, “I’m not afraid of your anger. It reminds of the tantrum of a little child.”
All these years, what I thought was rage, was really the frustration of a small child not getting his way. I’m too old to be a small child. I want to grow up. As my Muse reminded me, I’m an adult. As an adult, I can always get my own way. Sometimes this means to look for what others want or need. Other times it means to lovingly say no to others. Either choice is the right one, if it is done lovingly. Too often I have acquiesced to the needs of others or ignored their needs completely. I can do this differently now.
I can’t change the past, but I can do the following:
· Remind myself that my life is the result of my choices and accept the rewards and consequences of those choices.
· Practice one of the many methods I know for being peaceful when I feel I have no choice.
· Be grateful for where I am at each moment. There may be a day when I long for those times again.
· Get Started and Keep Going, either in the same direction if I can accept my current circumstances, or a different one if I can’t.
· Be grateful for my Muse who still gives me writing ideas, even when I’m not getting my way.