How does that side of the gate look to you?
Driving back from Williamsburg on my monthly jaunt to get my hair cut, I decided to take the “back roads” home. Actually, it is a very beautiful scenic route and I often soak up peace while on the drive.
I need peace.
Calmness that I can absorb through meditation, prayer and nature.
About halfway home, I saw a dirt road on the right. There wasn’t a soul in sight, so I slowed to a crawl and then swiftly turned into the lane. There was a beautiful red barn on the right and a field of bright green. I’m sure my mother can tell me what the crop was without even seeing a picture of it.
Anyway, up ahead a little way and on the right I could see two fence posts. I didn’t see the gate, so I figured that meant it was probably open. I eventually pulled in front of the opening and just gasped. Out here in the middle of nowhere stood the perfect home.
Directly through the rust colored gate and tall fence post of the same color was a deep blue, medium sized pond. In the corner of the pond was a deck-like-pier or a pier-like-deck. All around the pond was bright green grass, bushes and flowers. After walking through the gate, but not quite to the pond, stood a double wood swing facing the house and pond. The house itself was cute and very much a Virginia style home with pink Dogwood trees blooming throughout the lawn and surrounding forest. I could even see the American flag waving behind the house on the left.
I rolled down the window of the car and listened…to nothing.
It was totally silent except for an occasional bird tweeting.
I had obviously been holding my breath in wonderment and just then slowly let it out. My whole body began to relax. I felt as if I had walked up to the gates of Heaven.
Sitting there for a long time just soaking in the feeling of country all around and the perfect little home, thoughts flooded my mind and I remembered what someone told me many years ago.
“You have the perfect life.”
At the time, I was the General Manager of a hotel, working 60-80 hours a week, a single mother, stressed to the max and very lonely. I guess I was good at “faking” happiness while at work, so I didn’t let on otherwise and the person was none the wiser. It wasn’t, however, the perfect life.
Somewhere along the way between then and now, I lost the facade of a perfect life. I personally think I look a bit beaten down and my concealer doesn’t really conceal the black circles that seem to be a permanent part of my face now. I also complain…to myself…all the time.
I don’t think that is doing anything positive to boost my morale.
My life is here in the dirt road and just on the other side of the gate is a good life. The grass is actually greener on the other side of the fence because there isn’t any grass at all on this side. I feel as if I’m running out of time to “get it right.”
While staring at the beautiful home, I thought of Elizabeth Taylor, Patrick Swayze, Michael Jackson and Princess Diana…their lives are over. If they didn’t get it right, it is too late to do it now, but it isn’t too late for me nor is it too late for you.
Bad things do happen to good people, but so do good things.
I’ve had a whole bunch of good things happen to me and my extended family even during the turmoil of the last two years. Some of the good things were actually meshed with the bad things, so it is all mixed up. For instance, my dad was diagnosed with cancer and two months later, he died. However, he only suffered for two months instead of years like so many others who eventually are confined to beds and wither away.
Do you understand what I’m trying to say? Dad’s passing could have been so much worse. Granted, dying isn’t something we look forward to most of the time, but he suffered bravely and died with dignity.
What kind of message am I projecting?
Am I living with dignity?
I want my gravel road of a life to turn into a house surrounded by green grass, a deep blue pond and beautiful flowers. It is hard work. Anyone who has gone to therapy intent on “getting better” knows that the experience is not a passive appointment with meaningless chatter. In order to heal and/or change, it requires a completely open mind and heart. Unfortunately, that also means a plethora of tears, pain and hard choices. On the flip side, I have to be patient with myself since my enemy PTSD seems to follow me everywhere that I go.
How To Change
There are a few basic steps in obtaining a change. If you can do the first one, I truly believe that is half the battle won.
- Admit that you need to change – This has to be the first step. Without recognizing the need to change, you can not fathom what it takes to make the change.
- Accept yourself as you are now – You’ve made mistakes. Big deal. I have made mistakes. My mother has made mistakes. My neighbor has made mistakes. The President has made mistakes. Okay, that was supposed to be funny.
- Write down the changes you want to make happen – You learned how to write in kindergarten or first grade, so I know that you have this skill. Write it down or type it down…up…where ever! Just get the thoughts into words and put them down on paper in one way or another. If you don’t write it, you are not committed to attaining it.
- Dream big and without limitations – Why not? People succeed every day at things they were told couldn’t be done. Remember Willard Wigan? Okay then! Don’t ever say something is impossible, because Willard is proof that all things are possible.
“If you hear a voice within you say
‘you cannot paint,’
then by all means paint,
and that voice will be silenced.”
~Vincent van Gogh~
- Allow for weakness and mistakes – You are not perfect nor will you ever be perfect, so just accept it.
- Seek help whether it be friends for moral support or a psychologist for mental health
- See yourself changed and shove the negative thoughts out with that picture of accomplishment
- Take one step at a time – You can’t eat an elephant of a problem in one bite.
- Don’t stop taking steps – Definitely keep taking steps because that is how you are going to get on the other side of the gate.
“This one step –
choosing a goal and
sticking to it
– changes everything.”
~ Scott Reed~
Life is not easy for most people and we are all passing each other in every direction. Don’t waste your life pining over all that you do not have and have not done. Do something. Change something. Motivate yourself. Stand tall even if you are short. (wink) You can succeed at having your dreams come true and live a life of happiness.
It can and will happen if you want it…really want it.
Are you standing on the dirt road wishing to be just on the other side of the gate?
What are you doing to change your position?