Monday, July 10, 2006

"Life can be lived more fully if people simply quit pretending to be who they were told to be, and be who they really are…"
Doug Firebaugh

I spent 40 years trying to please loved ones, dancing to whatever rhythm they chose to play on my heart strings. I was rarely rewarded with anything except a changed song whenever I came too close to getting the steps right. When their objective was to keep me constantly off-balance that was how I constantly stayed.
I do not dance much anymore, unless I am the one spinning the tunes.
I still have a hunger to please... that is simply part of my nature. I just learned the hard-ass way that if the tempo does not match my own it is much better to be a wall-flower than it is to trip the light fantastic with a puppeteer. The knowledge I gleamed from 40 years of dancing lessons is invaluable to my mental health and emotional happiness.
I know things, learned in brutal ways, that have emancipated me from the special prison of CONDITIONAL love. I am certain of many things now that eluded me in my youth. Hard knock school has its true rewards and freedom is one of its highest honors. Living in certainty is so much better than settling for being eternally clueless.
Some of my favorite certainties are as follows:
Anyone who truly loves me will not seek to alter the very things that make me who I am.
I am not a blank canvas, to be painted on by other artists.
I am a masterpiece of my own creation.
Each of us can claim a masterpiece trophy, what we do with it is the only uncertainty.
Not everyone who carries an instrument is a virtuoso, some are tone deaf and should never be allowed to even play, let alone lead the band.
In the struggle to live at peace we often do what seems easiest at the time, but...
It is much easier to learn how to play your own drum than it is to try to force a monkey to learn the measured rhythmn of the song that will soothe your soul.
It is foolish to expect him to even care what tune he plays when all he really wants to do is make noise and watch you flinch.
The only lasting happiness comes from being comfortable, first inside your own skin then inside your own space... and that cannot be accomplished if you are constantly playing name that tune with those closest to you. Snatch the drumsticks away from the primates and set your own's the only way to dance.
I got the following as an email and liked it enough to place it here. Enjoy and pay it forward...THINK ABOUT IT...LET IT GROW...THEN DECIDE

The Cracked Pot

An elderly Chinese woman had two large pots, each hung on the ends of a pole which she carried across her neck. One of the pots had a crack in it while the other pot was perfect and always delivered a full portion of water. At the end of the long walk from the stream to the house, the cracked pot arrived half full. For a full two years this went on daily, with the woman bringing home only one and a half pots of water.
Of course, the perfect pot was proud of its accomplishments. But the poor cracked pot was ashamed of its own imperfection, and miserable that it could only do half of what it had been made to do. After 2 years of what it perceived to be bitter failure, it spoke to the woman one day by the stream.
"I am ashamed of myself, because this crack in my side causes water to leak out all the way back to your house."
The old woman smiled, "Did you notice that there are flowers on your side of the path, but not on the other pot's side? That's because I have always known about your flaw, so I planted flower seeds on your side of the path, and every day while we walk back, you water them."
"For two years I have been able to pick these beautiful flowers to decorate the table. Without you being just the way you are, there would not be this beauty to grace the house."
Each of us has our own unique flaw. But it's the cracks and flaws we each have that make our lives together so very interesting and rewarding. You've just got to take each person for what they are and look for the good in them. So, to all of my crackpot friends, have a great day and remember to smell the flowers on your side of the path!