I love this life and want to dance in the rain of conflict, challenge, and growth, to meet conflict head on as opposed to pretending it is not happening, and to deal with the rain of life as it occurs as opposed to waiting for the storm and rain to pass.
While this is one of my more transparent Ramblings, it is not just about me. I hope it tells a personal story that causes you to stop and reflect on anything that resonates with you. If it does, fantastic. This Rambling was prompted by some thoughts that came to me recently as I was reading A Dog’s Purpose, by W. Bruce Cameron. One of the book’s messages is that all creatures are born with a purpose.
I am learning to be more comfortable with the idea of “Say what you mean and mean what you say!” although I know this way of thinking may not be very Norwegian of me. Being purposeful about what you say (and do!) is about getting off the merry-go-round of just staying within the protective cradle of what is known. It’s about venturing, with purpose, into the unknown deeper aspects of our spiritual life while never forgetting to embrace our earthly life with an attitude of gratitude, passion, romance, fun, adventure, wonder, thanksgiving, and purpose.
Just as every piece of paper has two sides, there are two sides to our lives—what is seen on the outside and what is at our core. I hope I’m not the only one who spends time looking inward to discover and refine how I want both sides of my life (the exterior and interior) to be grounded and compatible in how they look, feel, and behave. I am committed to being authentic and having an internal core that has substance.
There are so many analogies floating through my thoughts that make me smile as I type out what was initially put down on paper for this Rambling. My Ramblings always start out with a thought for the subject and perhaps a title, much like the title for a book. I use the initial title not only as imagery but motivation for what is written in the Rambling. Often what I end up writing is not consistent with the initial title. It is like turning a piece of paper over to discover what was really important.
I may change the title in the same manner that I change my perspective on life.
I often change the title of my Ramblings to better match and reflect the maturing content. This morning as I hit spell check, backspaced to make corrections, and edited things I wasn’t happy with or didn’t like the flow of, and I reflected on what I wanted to convey, it struck me that the writing process is like life: changing (backspace, delete, edit), developing (adding and learning with the help of an editor or others), and maturing (willing to change) can be fun and exciting.
In the holiday classic, A Christmas Carol, Ebenezer Scrooge was totally unaware of how he was behaving, how he was being perceived, and how what was important to him was so misaligned. I can honestly say that in the fairly recent past, I too was naïve and had misjudged how I was being received and perceived. My overly-armored and guarded core had drastically affected relationships and my ability to be real or authentic. Change is so hard, yet I am a thankful example that change is possible if it is really important to you.
There two statements I learned from my involvement with the Wilson Learning Company years ago, “People change but seldom!” (I am one of the seldom!), and people only do things for their reason, not someone else’s! (There have been many personal reasons I have changed.)
Back to Scrooge: At the end of the story, Scrooge was awakened and his life transformed by the dreams and vision brought to him by the ghosts of Christmases Past, Present, and Future. To a far lesser degree, I too have been awakened and transformed by experiences of the past and present. The future is important to me particularly as I work to make both sides of my “paper” complement one another: the visible (behavior) and the core (strong beliefs).
“Live as if you were to die tomorrow. Learn as if you were to live forever.” Mahatma Gandhi (Thank you Jim H. for introducing me to this quote!)
My Ramblings have been like an evolving and ever-changing mirror of how I view myself, or better stated, how the journey of life is manifesting itself within me (as it does for all of us). I have discovered that as with my Ramblings, I have become so very picky about things in my life—I have learned that there are certain non-negotiables.
I challenge you (as well as myself) to discover who you are at your core, and to believe and be comfortable in what you discover, to live intentionally with this heartfelt belief, to shed the shield in being someone you are not, and to stop worrying about what others think (as long as who you are is ethical and kind, and what you do and say comes from the heart), much like dancing (not worrying about what others might think!).
We should learn to embrace a joyful, wholehearted, selfless, and grateful life.