“I’m right where I’m supposed to be.”
“Everything happens for a reason.”
“There’s a lesson in this.”
“When one door closes, another one opens.”
I’ve spouted these, (and many other) comforting quotes over the last few years while life has seemingly been using me as a punching bag.
When someone commiserates on my latest bout of bad luck, I quickly assure them that I’m far more fortunate than most of the world’s population, and that my problems are (as a friend recently put it) “First World” problems. I make nice and go back to what I was doing – offering platitudes, preparing to duck and cover yet again – never knowing which direction the next blow will come from. In short – getting by.
While I was toiling away on the seemingly endless amount of paperwork required to request a modification of one’s mortgage this morning, Luke (one of our dogs) insisted he needed to go out. NOW. I’d had him out less than an hour before, and was not amused at his constant whining.
I finally relented, and took both dogs out (I know – dog trainers are rolling their eyes at my “rewarding bad behavior”, but I plead self-defense. I simply could not focus on the task at hand while all that whining was going on.)
Anxious to get back to my “important” task, I assured the dogs that, since they had been out within the last hour, they’d better darn well pee and be done with it. “I know I’m an awful mother, but I’m in the middle of something. I’m ALWAYS in the middle of something, and I’m always miles behind where I’m supposed to be with everything in my life.” Funny what comes out in an unguarded moment.
That stopped me in my tracks, literally (thrilling the dogs, who suddenly weren’t being dragged back into the house).
It became blindingly obvious to me in that moment that I was lying to somebody, either to myself or to the rest of the world.
“The test of a first-rate intelligence is the ability to hold two opposed ideas in mind at the same time and still retain the ability to function.”
While Fitzgerald had a point, I think he meant consciously holding onto those two opposed thoughts. Blithely spouting one while your unconscious mind drives your life off a cliff with the other doesn’t count – at least not in my interpretation…
The weird thing is, I really believe those platitudes at the beginning of this post. Much as I hate some of the difficult things we’ve been through (and are still going through), I do believe that I’m right where I’m supposed to be.
Do I now work to eradicate the belief that I’m behind? Do I stop every hour on the hour and examine my beliefs? Do more journaling? More meditating? Is there even an answer?
God only knows.
Perhaps that’s just an expression, or perhaps that really is the answer. I certainly don’t have any bright ideas at this point.
I think I’ve taken the first steps by becoming aware that I have some deeply seated (and often well hidden) beliefs that aren’t helping me (more on that in this post). The real trick now is to stay aware.
So, I’m going back to my mortgage modification paperwork now. And while I work, I’ll live in the truth, or my version of it for right now.
I may be miles behind where I’d like to be, but that doesn’t mean I’m not where I’m supposed to be.