“There is nothing like returning to a place that remains unchanged to find the ways in which you yourself have altered.”
~~ Nelson Mandela
“You don’t need to change the world; you need to change yourself.”
― Miguel Ruiz
People say I’m a positive person. Some say I’m the most positive person they’ve ever met. Some though have seen me at my worst. I can’t always be up. Especially working where I do.
But for the most part I am a man who has learned how to look for the silver lining. It took practice, but it has reached the point where no matter how bad my dad might be, or bad things are going or looking, I can keep myself from spiraling into panic or anger or depression.
For instance this whole thing they are doing to me at work—putting me on the early shift so that I will miss church and weekends with my husband and the ablity to go to Brookfield with him and much more. It’s obvious to everyone that this isn’t about what’s best for business or the department or putting people where they fit—it’s all about trying to make me miserable so that I will quit.
The big boss actually grinned at me and winked right before I found out what was happening. Yes. A grown man. Not a twelve year-old. I figure he is at least in his mid to late fifties. Acting like a kindergartener.
“Oh yea, Ben? You get sick and can’t come in for overtime? I will screw you over! I will take stuff away from you!”
And will I allow myself to fall into anger or worse? Despair? No!
What’s awesome is that I am not the person I used to be.
I can remember twenty some years ago when I lived with my ex that I would cry on the way home from work—I mean break down sobbing—that I had to go to work on Monday. He would say, “Honey…. Monday is three days away. We have an entire weekend ahead of us. Let’s have fun!”
But I couldn’t.
My motto was always expect the very worst—then if it isn’t bad, what happens will actually seem wonderful. His motto (which in retrospect shocks me) was to expect the very vest always.
When I began to find out he wasn’t who he said he was—a cheater to the maximum degree the least of it—it was either die in ultimate despair, or find a way to turn my life around.
Number one was dump him. It took me awhile to build the courage, but I did it. I figured I couldn’t survive without him. As it turned out life only got better and better and I used my freedom to begin a new life. Suddenly I had more energy—now that I wasn’t simply trying to claw my way through the day—and wonderful things began to happen.
The Universe began to conspire to make my dreams come true.
First It was trying to get me to leave my first husband—and I wouldn’t. So it got worse and worse and worse and worse, to the point that he became infected with HIV and tried to give it to me! Finally I left him—and the magick began to happen.
Second, after the breakup and I was going through the grieving process of an ended relationship (even if it was best for me, I thought it was forever), out of the blue someone suggested I check out Buddhism.
Buddhism, I thought. Buddhism?
Where the hell had that suggestion come from, and why had he even suggested it?
Then less than a week later I was online talking to people in a chat room (remember those?) about my ended relationship and how hard it was to look at the bright side, but I was learning, and someone suggested I check out Buddhism.
WTHeck? No one had ever suggested I check out Buddhism, and it happens twice in one week?
Then I was on this dating site and talking to this really nice guy and he invited me on a “date” to go with him to a Buddhist mediation night.
Finally I got the message. I decided to give it a looksie.
Buddhism was nothing like I thought. It was a religion with gods and such and Buddhists didn’t worship statues like I thought and they didn’t look at Buddha as if he were a Savior and they don’t even talk about God at all!
It was a philosophy and it was all about looking at things honestly and not dwelling on anything. About holding everything with an open hand, neither grasping or pushing away. It was about accepting what was happening—whether good or bad (and Buddhists don’t look at things as “good” or “bad” because that is dualism—as something temporary. So when things are happening that you don’t like, don’t despair—nothing lasts forever and it will get better. And when things are wonderful, embrace and enjoy them because…nothing lasts forever. This could end at any moment.
And here’s the trick!
Don’t despair that it could end at any moment! Because it will get better again. Love and appreciate the good and be grateful for it! It’s precious!
After awhile I realized that as much as Buddism taught me and helped me—I wasn’t a Buddhist. The biggest reason is that it teaches that we should not contemplate the existence of God since God’s existence could not be proven one way or the other. That even wondering about God is a waste of time.
And I believe in God.
So what happened?
Why I leapt and didn’t even know it.
And I was taken from teacher to teacher to teacher, each in their path teaching me more. I would take what worked for me, and leave what didn’t.
Now I am going to a church that teaches New Age philosophy. It’s the closest that I’ve found to the Truth I know within me. And work wants to take that away!
Twenty years ago I would have spiraled into despair.
Now I know that the Universe is taking care of me, It is guiding me, getting me to where I need to be next.
If I get my church “taken away” from me?
Why it’s because there is something even better waiting for me.
I will not despair!
I take this as proof that I am being watched out for.
I am leaping!
The net will appear!
I am so grateful that I am not the man I used to be. But I am glad that I used to be that man. It all was meant to be. All the foundation of where I will one day be.
This is so exciting!
I can’t wait to see what happens next!
photograph by hotblack from morgueFile