Thursday, September 12, 2013

Through Adversity we often find our Truest Selves

Sometimes life throws you a curve ball, something that may or may not have set off your early warning systems.  Things sometimes appear on your horizon or even pop up out of the clear blue, but how you handle it will often help dictate how you live the rest of your life.  Many times we are all tried and tested by fire.  The loss of a loved one or the change of our employment situation can often trigger responses we were unaware existed within our own souls.  We may be anger or hurt, disbelief and shock are common as well. We may blame ourselves or others all the while wondering how this will affect our long term goals and dreams.  But don't stress it. Change is inevitable.  It is the only thing certain in our lives.

People come and go, some by choice some by accident.  Bad things do happen to good people but you cannot allow those feelings of pain and hurt to stop you from living a good life.  You cannot hide away in a shell and bury you head in the sand because those feelings will still be there when you come up for air.

I don't share many details of my personal life on my blog and I try to keep my blogs very generalized for several reasons.  One is my blog is read by a lot of folks all over the globe and to be honest I don't feel comfortable sharing my deepest darkest and sometimes saddest moments of my life.  Second I do it because if you know me well you already know what is going on in my personal life and don't need it to be in print to understand my words or my thoughts in my blog. And thirdly because we all have problems. Even the happiest people on the planet have bad days. Days when you burn your toast, spill your coffee and break a heal on your favorite pumps as you are walking out the door on your way to work.  We all have them. It isn't a matter of living a perfect life. It is a matter of being able to rise above the issues of every day life and putting them in perspective.

Some problems have longer lasting effects than others, but with time everything shows the reason for facing such adversity. It may be to help us grow into the people we wouldn't become without having a little drama in our life.  It may to help us understand another persons problem better for having been there done that.  It may simply be to shake up our world and remind us what is truly important in our life.  Whatever the reason always pay attention when bad times come for a visit.  Never simply assume they happened because you were due for a stretch of bad luck or that you have done something to bring the karma fairy to your doorstep. 

Sometimes things happen just because they can.  Sometimes we need that wake up call to remind us that life is short and if we are so busy focusing on what lies ahead we forget to stop and enjoy the moments that make life worthwhile.  Sometimes bad things happen just because they can.  I don't know that is a question for another time but it is something to think about while sitting in traffic cursing that slow moving motorist in front you who is making you late for your appointment.

Sometimes life changes in an instant.  It can go from sunny and mild to thunderstorms and lightening in the blink of an eye. Something we may have counted on being with us for the rest of our lives can be lost or destroyed without any warning or any red flags. Sometimes that nagging voice in the back of our heads may give us a heads up and other times its like being hit by a bus on your way home from work. You just didn't see it coming.  But never fear, if you can pick yourself up from the sidewalk after being hit and survive it chances are, things are looking up.

Things always look worst in the heat of the moment. You feel like your heart has been ripped out of your chest and you aren't sure you are capable of taking that next breath.  You want the world to stop spinning and you want the life you had 10 minutes before it happened. Sometimes you may even convince yourself that it isn't real just a bad dream and you will wake up just any second now. But then you don't and with time you come to the realization that it is real and this is your life and you cannot escape it.

But don't let it jade you or stop you from being happy.  A bad moment does not a bad life make.  A bad moment is just that a bad moment.  For this too shall pass, as my dear Mema used to say.  At times of trouble I often hear her wise words echoing in my head. Things she said when I was a child but I didn't understand at the at time, but now as I have grown older and wiser I finally understand. 

I was blessed to be raised by a very Southern Grandmother who always had a witty saying for every situation.  I look back on my time at her house during the summer breaks from School and wonder how I survived to adulthood.  Whatever she told me not to do I usually did anyway and often learned the hard way why I should have listened to her advice.  We had this very wild pony on Grandma's farm. It would let you touch it and it would take an apple from your hand and even let you touch its velvety soft nose. But you couldn't ride that pony. 

One day I asked my grandmother why we didn't ride the pony.  She told me that the pony has once belonged to a couple who had a bundle of small kids and the pony was ridden every single day until it almost dropped from exhaustion but as the pony grew older it became harder and harder for it to keep up with that whole passel of kids.  The neighbors decided that the old pony had seen better days and were going to send it off to auction when my grandmother stepped in. She herself had raised a handful of kids and she knew how it felt to never get a break when it came to all that energy kids often have. So she agreed to take that pony and to let it live out its remaining days in her back pasture. It came and went as it liked. She always made sure it had food and water and shelter from the heat and the cold. But for all intense purposes the pony was wild.

One day I decided I was going to ride that pony, even through my grandmother had told me not to. She said to be respectful of the old horse and let it be.  She allowed us to take it down special treats and we could sit and watch it graze in the pasture but no one was allowed to ride it.  My cousins and I spent every summer with my Grandmother. It was a chance for us to escape the boring summer ahead of us in our urban city.  And spending time picking corn and leaning how to live in a more rural setting was always a welcome break not just for us but for our parents as well.

So I made up a bridle from some old twine I found from a hay bale and slowly slipped it over that pony's head. No bit, no saddle just me and my rope bridle.  The pony allowed me to guide it to a near by stump and I jumped up on that pony.  At first it just stood there, probably as much in shock that I had done that as I was.  Then is began to slowly walk around. Its head very low to the ground.  Its walk turned into a trot and that trot turned into a gallop and the next thing I knew I was airborn sailing through the air headed for the old fence that the pony stayed in.

I woke up laying at an odd angle and could hear my grandmother screaming somewhere very far off but getting louder.  The pony stood about 5 feet from me just looking at me, that old rope halter askew on its head, one ear still in the other had already escaped. Just looking at me as if to say, you should have listened to your grandmother.

My grandmother was surprised that I hadn't killed myself, and I never tried to ride that pony every again and it lived many years after that incident.  But I stood up after I caught my breath which had been knocked out of me when I hit the ground.  Dusted myself off and learned sometimes grandmothers are right. There are some things on this planet not meant to be controlled.

Life is a lot like that old pony. They are beautiful to look at, gentle and exciting to touch and be near, but sometimes you just gotta know where your limits are.  Sometimes you have to be smart enough to know when to ride and when to walk away while you still can.  So my message to you my blog buddies is this.  Sometimes in the darkest moments we learn more about ourselves and our limitations than we will ever learn in bright happy days.  Sometimes it takes hitting that ground for reality to hit home and for your sense of self to be returned.

Now I don't advice anyone to go out and find a wild pony and try their hand at riding them. It doesn't always take being airborne for you to realize that gravity exist. And sometimes bad things can happen for good reasons.  Just know that if you can still move and think and breath after a truly bad thing happens that you will be wiser and stronger for having survived the moment.

Until next time blog buddies, Stay safe, stay sane and be happy.

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