Sunday, June 30, 2013

Putting Humpty Together Again ... and Again ... and Again

Big Think - David Arenson - Butterfly, Fly Again! This article is kind of preachy, but it struck a couple of deep chords for me.

First, it describes my writing process. I work through the bumps in my life by writing stories about how my characters navigate life's transitions. As I mentioned in a previous post, I write about what worries me. I give my burdens to my characters and I watch how the characters handle them.  I am inspired  by them when they do well, and I try to learn from their mistakes when they stumble.

Second, it articulates better than I ever have been able to do my own personal belief about the meaning and purpose of life.
When your life seems to end, it is a great opportunity to start all over again at the beginning, to redefine exactly who you are, and what you will stand for, and who you are not.  
Your life is yours to create, to enjoy or not enjoy, to fight or be at peace with.
When all else is lost, you face yourself directly in the mirror and from this vantage point of complete nakedness, clarity emerges and a new image starts to form of your future. From this point, you can create something real and meaningful, which will evolve into something beautiful in time.
Whatever has appeared in your life is there for a reason. You can either ignore it or learn from it. No circumstance is accidental, though it may be unwanted. Choose what you will be. 
We can't control what happens to us in life, but we can control what we allow our circumstances to do to us. When we face a setback of any kind, we may choose anger, bitterness and helpless resignation. We may also choose to move forward in a new direction with hope that this "new" future will bring new blessings. Doing the latter does not mean that one does not sometimes feel angry, bitter or helpless. It means that we don't let those emotions have power over us. We may occasionally feel angry  or mournful about bad things that have happened to us, but moping about past misfortune prevents us from being happy now.

I don't have a particularly sunny disposition. [Folks who know me would be rolling on the floor at that gross understatement!] I'm too serious and too much of a worrier to be vivacious. However, somewhere deep in me, there is a bottomless well of optimism.  I truly believe that things happen for a reason and they work out for the best in the long run. I also believe that my true Self is stronger than my emotions, and that I can control my behavior despite how I may feel. Some days, I may be sad and depressed, but I get up, plaster a fake smile on my face and go to work anyway.

I may be angry about something someone said to me, but I don't show it. I don't deny that I'm angry or try to stuff the emotion. I learned a long time ago that when I do that, my anger turns inward, with dreadful results.  I tend to express anger privately, usually in vicious screeds written in my private journal or imaginary conversations in my head while taking very long, fast walks.

Bitterness and envy are the two emotions I will not tolerate.  When I am tempted to feel either of those emotions, I literally sit down and count my blessings.  Sometimes I even write them down. That always makes me feel better.

Life is about rising from the ashes of past failures and disappointments, starting over and moving forward to build a new life that you never imagined was possible.

Maybe the king's men and horses can't put Humpty together again, but Humpty can do it.

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