This is so exciting to me, to be writing my first Blog. “Hello world!” I have so much to share, so much to say, that I almost became paralyzed on what to blog about first. Then one day (just recently) I was driving in the Humboldt County hills with my daughter and son in the car on a winding road and my 9-year old asked me a profound question. She asked, “daddy, how do you know where we’re going?” It was in that moment my first official blog came to me like a light. You see I had no idea where we were going, and I didn’t care to know. I simply wanted to drive and discover what was around each bend in the road. I’ve always been a guy that needed to know, understand or make sense of a situation, but as I have grown, matured and stop taking myself so seriously I realize sometimes it really doesn’t matter. Knowing everything in the moment that is. So there it was my first topic to blog about right in my face, literally. As I gathered my thoughts to reply to my daughter in a way that she could relate to, I pulled to the side of the road, stepped out of my vehicle (as she followed me) took a few pictures (the one on this post along with a few others) and I attempted to answer her question. I said sweetie, “sometimes you don’t have to know exactly where you are headed and there may be times when the answer and the joy lies in discovering something new and unplanned”. Kids have a way of making things very clear with simple questions.
My life has taken so many turns in the last 7 years or so. There was a season that I would consistently ask myself, “How did I get here”? And make statements like, “This was not supposed to be my story”. But it was my story and I needed to learn how to embrace it and quit beating myself up for things I couldn’t change or people I have hurt. The Upside of Down came to me like an epiphany one day and just like that bend in the road, I had no idea where I was going or what lied ahead, but as I continued to drive I found adventure, beauty, places to stop and enjoy the amazing scenery and perspectives I had never saw before. How does this all happen and why? I mean this was not the first time I drove down a winding road with a picturesque landscape. What made this different for me? Like so many of our life journeys it’s not so much about the road we’re on, it’s about the person driving the car, or better yet you and me. What we can see or hear is all about the place we are in emotionally, psychology and spiritually. Negatively, this place will either cloud our judgement, dilute our definition on what is beautiful or perpetuate a numbness that life will always be like this. All this can lead to are fear-based decisions that in turn lead to more disappointment. I became so tired of being in this place. Positively, it can cause us to see the beauty of what surrounds us, the love that we want and deserve and a relentless hope that is as real as our own heartbeat. I wanted to see! Really see, live, hear and touch the beauty of the world, all for the very first time! Finally I am doing that. Like someone once told me, “do it afraid”. I am living that life, no longer on the sidelines watching, but I’m in the game man! Making it happen, giving my best and expecting the same in return. I still fail, screw up and fall short, but now I get up quickly and remember the journey versus the destination. I have also learned to bloom where I am planted.
I am smelling the roses of life (literally and figuratively) and nothing has quite prepared me for this place like hardship has. Man did it hurt! Thought I was going to die, but I didn’t and like Celie said in the movie the Color Purple, “I’m here!” I am equally here, on the upside of down. Who knew it would be at the bend in the road, I would find my best life. Are you ready to drive?
What is your bend in the road? Did you stop short of the turn due to fear, betrayal, death, a knuckle-head or getting in your own way? Whatever the cause I encourage you to get up off your tush and return to your journey. Your best life awaits you around the bend. I don’t say this without empathy. I’ve been down, very down and lived at that point on my knees crying, depressed and ultimately paralyzed by my own doings. I stopped short. In that season of my life I became like a dormant tree. The interesting point to make about a dormant tree is it may look dead, but it isn’t. It’s preparing for the inevitable, to bear fruit. Strengthening itself for what lies ahead. That said, don’t be discouraged in your still/quiet moments. Things are still working on the inside, below the surface. Bloom where you’re planted and soon you will be back on that road to discover what lies ahead. There’s a saying that “time heals all wounds”. I have always whole-heartedly disagreed with this statement. The human body has the ability to heal itself, but it’s not the time that heals it. Time is a significant part of the formula, but it’s what happening deep inside that actually causes the healing to occur. Like our bodies, it’s the work we do below the surface in the time we have that allows the healing to actually manifest. Whether counseling, prayer, surrendering, joining a group, church, taking long walks, sharing with friends or reading a great book, it’s the work we choose to do that infuses us with the power to press ahead. Press ahead to our best life. Now…get to the work. Someone is waiting on you to move.