“We admitted we were powerless over alcohol - that our lives had become unmanageable.” Al-Anon's Step One
What is my life? I don’t know for sure, but from my perspective, it appears to be an 80 year stint on this planet (give or take), during which I am supposed to work out the kinks in some of my wiring. Could be that I’m overshooting the time frame, but if my elders are any indication, I’ll be around long enough to become a complete pain in the backside to my kids.
The trick is what I do with that time while I’m here, and up until recently, I think I’ve missed the point. I’ve been “working” on myself as long as I could remember, thinking I could smooth out those kinks myself. When I thought others around me were the problem, I went to work on them too. I’ve been an unruly bulldozer slamming around in the china shop, and my efforts so far have resulted in nothing but demolition.
At some point, I looked up from driving and discovered that I wasn’t getting anywhere with the mess. Instead, it turns out I had a big hand in creating it. Noise, dust, and unmanageability everywhere. I wasn’t getting better, I was getting worse because I was moving too fast with my bulldozer for any help to catch up with me.
Looking back, it seems absurd to assume that I was put here to solve all these problems by myself. That must have been my ego talking. “Hey, let’s send her over there with that little bulldozer of hers and see what she can do!”, like Mike Mulligan and His Steam Shovel headed off to build the new town hall. Be careful what you wish for! You might wind up being the boiler in the basement one day.
It never occurred to me that the fix was something I didn’t need to produce, it was something to be received. That I was not here to teach, but to learn. It never occurred to me that it’s impossible to administer aid to the driver if she won’t stop her noisy equipment long enough to get down out of the driver’s seat.
So that’s my resolution this year. Turn off my noisy tractor and get down out of the driver’s seat. Take a walk to the nearest natural setting (one preferable untouched by my shenanigans) and sit quietly, long enough to soak up the sun and the lessons I am here to learn.
When I pay attention to the most beautiful things I witness on this planet, I notice that every one of them comes into being quietly, softly, like the slow unfolding of the petals on a blooming flower: patient and receiving of light. Grace is delicate. It cannot exist in the same space as my bulldozer or my ego. Must be time to retire both.
Happy New Year all...
Photo Credit: www.iStockphoto.com/05-07-07 @ Sreedhar Yedlapati