“None of us are getting out of here alive, so please stop treating yourself like an after thought. Eat delicious food. Walk in the sunshine. Jump in the ocean. Say the truth that you’re carrying in your heart like a hidden treasure. Be silly. Be kind. Be weird. There’s no time for anything else.” – Christopher Walken
One thing I have learned after going through my share of hardships and pain is to never forget about the innocence of life. I mean to really never take yourself (or anyone else) too seriously. After all, the sun will rise again tomorrow, giving us all a chance to start over and make things better, or to eventually get over heartache. And although it is usually more complex to make things better or to heal, especially when they are matters of the heart, it is important to realize that when we do try our best to make amends, do the necessary work to identify our own issues and choose to work through them, that is all we can do, even when that effort falls short in the eyes of another.
This weekend I was reminded of this very fact as I watched several children ranging from the ages of 2-7 years old dance to their heart’s content at a wedding reception. As they all jumped around on the dance floor to their own beat, one thing was noticeably clear, they were all having fun and not concerned with their immediate surroundings, the people watching them or if they were even on the right beat. For them it was about the moment, that moment specifically, and nothing was going to deter them from cutting loose. So as I watched and laughed at their carefree fun, I like many of the other adults became jealous and joined them in the fun.
It is typically the small things that matter the most in life. This applies to both the negative and positive aspects. The problem usually lies in our inability to see that. In other words, some times we make things so frickin hard that should be easy. I personally have struggled with this in my own life. My ex-wife would always say I see life like an octagon and she a circle, and although there were not many things we agreed on, I would give her that one reluctantly. Yes I can and have been a fairly complex man. It is in my nature I suppose, but sometimes this nature or disposition can get in the way of living a free, joyous and fun life. So everyone once in a while I need to be reminded to laugh at loud. This weekend it was about a half-dozen children that did just that. I laughed and danced, but I did manage to stay on beat. After all, it is in my nature. 🙂
If I have said it once, I have said it a thousand times. Life is hard and also short, so what we do with our time once we have learned lessons is truly up to us. We can spend our time being uptight or unsuccessfully trying to convince others what they did wrong to us. In the words of my Uncle James, “It’s not that serious”. So what is the point really? Some will listen to us while with others our words will fall to the ground.
At some point in our lives we have to decide that some people will simply not be happy with how we live. No matter what we do they will find fault and not hesitate to make it known to the world, specifically our world. They will want to have official conversations with you, call you into one-sided meetings like they are your boss, only to ridicule you and make you feel small. They will identify what you are doing wrong, inadequately and even offer a suggestion on how you can make things better, that of course suits their needs.
In my later years I have learned that these types of occurrences are distractions designed to prevent me from becoming the best me, because they are tied to certain circumstances in my past that may have had relevance once upon a time, but today is a new day and I choose to live in the future, the now, this moment. What about you?
Where is your head these days regarding this topic? Do you still have naysayers living in your head dictating how you should think and live? Are you still bound by poor choices you have made in the past? Do you still carry guilt or shame from these decisions? Well if you can answer yes to even one of these questions, it is time that you dismantle your past and start new.
1. Start first with forgiving yourself. Nothing matters more than letting go of your past. It will haunt you and coerce you into situations that perpetuate the problem you are trying to escape.
2. Begin to live like you are forgiven. This means quit apologizing for who you are, what you did and why you did it. Once you have made amends, live your life in freedom, not bondage. Hold your head up and realize that you are not defined by your past.
3. Keep Your Life Simple. Stop over analyzing every moment. Give yourself license to fail, and to go through a process of restoration.
4. Love Yourself. So many times we give other people more love than we tend to allow or give to ourselves. Be good to you by giving to yourself often.
5. Tune out the noise that comes to distract you and bring you down or back. Do not fall for the okie-doke. Negative people will make themselves known to you. Block them from your life, and stay focused on healing, growth and become a better person.
Remember that life will probably always be hard and certainly short, so do not forget to make the best of each moment. When you fall, do like what we tell our children, “dust yourself off and get back into the game.”
Laugh out loud as often as you can, because it’s not that serious.