Life at times appears to be full of circles, the same thing happens over and over again. (Maybe this is why I think that repetition is the mother of insanity :o). Do we need a different outcome, or to learn something new? Or maybe it moves linear: like nothing new ever happens and see nothing new on the horizon. Maybe, just maybe, it is both. That is something to think about.
In leadership courses they talk a lot about vision: vision for the company, for a small group, even for oneself. Each person’s life has something significant that guides them. For me, I’ve not really relied on a vision. I’ve experienced that life is full of small signs that says, you either go this way, or that way, like a fork in the road. Why? Because you cannot really pigeon hole life. It grows in understanding, knowledge, and wisdom. You grow, if you desire it so.
Yet you will find something that spurs you on to either do bad things or good things. It is up to you to decide what moves you. We act out of a choice, although it is never clear cut like that. At times, you will see nothing but fog, like depression, some other type of mental illness, or even a terrible event in your life. Or drudgery. These are a type of lens which we see our life through.
A purpose comes into play here. Vision and purpose go hand in hand. Our sense of purpose gives us some sense of reality. Vision, or even the road signs, can help us to walk through this life. We live our lives by what we believe (this is purpose), which directs our course of action. (I want you to understand, regardless of a person’s belief, they have some idea or belief they live by. It does not even have to be “religious”. Looking how they treat others is a good way to see this.) I’ve learned more about this in my life many times: my relationship with women, with me, even my relationship with God.
One of my circles, which I mentioned earlier in this letter, has been my relationships with women. In my relationships, even the small ones I’ve had with women, taught me several things: letting go, being myself, even leaving. A big lesson I learned is that my value wasn’t in what others wanted or needed, but in how I treated myself and others. In a way, my past relationships were a search, subconsciously, for finding that person who I choose to be.
As time passed, with each one, I felt more comfortable letting go, seeing who I could become, or who I am. After one short relationship, around 3 months, I saw where I could go and what type of women I was being attracted too. And it wasn’t good. I decided to not be in a relationship for 5 years to explore who I was without pursuing a relationship. It was the best 5 years of my life. And you know what? I wasn’t lonely. I felt as if I were changing, growing. That was from 2003-2008. After my last relationship from ’08 – ’12, I am learning to apply this even more. If you value yourself, you will not allow a person to abuse or use you, regardless of the so called promises. Remember kids, love gives and expects nothing. But it will say to respect yourself.
My sleep apnea took away the basic part of growing up during my early years. Somehow, I feel, they are being restored. This restoration I am having is not a catching up, but a growing into. It took away my years to learn to be social with my family, friends, even strangers. It was depleting my health, both mentally and physically, where it was carving away my life, like a knife on a stick, taking away the bark and slowly carving down the stick piece by piece till there was nothing left.
The sleep apnea, for 18 years, slowed my growth in certain areas, social being one of them, as well as my own self-perception. I figured, as long as I stopped slowing myself down, and start doing what I felt I needed to do, instead of trying to rush things, to catch up with my peers, everything would be alright. But that is not true. Although for the past 15 years with my trach have been gradual, I’ve had to come to terms with many things. Just as you will encounter various changes like being yourself, knowing yourself, even learning not to compare who you are with others in the way that you think you should be, I want to encourage you not to compromise yourself.
I might not be able to remember much from days gone by; I do have to think quite hard to remember. But I do carry lessons and memories. My purposed 5 years I believe prepared me for the future. This is why I tell you, what you do now, can either strengthen or weaken your hearts and minds for what will come. Everything happens, regardless if we are ready or not. That might be a serious note, but live, have fun, experience life and its passageways. I am not talking about having different sexual experiences, or trying drugs, or doing things you know will damage you. This is all in hindsight. But go to a place you’ve never been to, talk to strangers, help people who are deemed unworthy in society, and even the “established church”. And dare I say, welcome the help of others. If I could give a small steps to living life daily, they would probably be to love God, love others, love yourself, go against what you know will bring harm to others and yourself. And also, please, do not envy others. The grass might be greener on the other side, probably because they have had more, well, crap on their end. But imagine this, they might be looking at your grass as well. So look at your own. Foster your field.