At my age, I find myself in an odd position in life right now. Every major decision in my life is now open for evaluation and readjustment; personal relationships, professional relationships, family relationships, where my home should be, what type of work I shall pursue, and overall direction for the future. Most decades in one’s life, one or two of these types of decisions need to be made. But everything at once? I call this the opportunity for a reset. Life Reset 2.0.
This post definitely requires some excellent music on the stereo right now…how about a little of Joe Bonamassa’s “Different Shades of Blue” to start with. Yeah…that’s perfect.
I believe that life is all about relationships. Relationships with the people around us; relationships with our environment; relationships with our possessions and desires; relationships with the ethics, morals, and standards that make up who each of us are. It’s those relationships that decide the happiness we shall experience as we make our way through the limited amount of time we have to exist.
There comes a point that the toxic relationships around us becomes so extreme that the bipolar actions of others, the constant unneeded tension, and the excessive drama becomes a stopper to having enjoyment in life. When deceitfulness, false pretenses of friendship, and a lack of support become the dominant behavior and the expected paradigm, then trustworthiness disappears. After years of exposure to the intolerable behavior of others, I find that being honest is enough to warrant my eviction from a number of relationships that in retrospect held little value. Relationships built on extremely weak foundations such as ineptitude, immorality, or unreliability have no chance of surviving for the long term. There comes a time when things that have been unsaid for ages finally just need to be made known, regardless of the cost of opening up.
Being honest with others is a costly adventure. There comes times in our lives where we put aside the burdens that we carry and must come forth with an announcement that we refuse to any longer be a pawn wallowing in the deepening pit of the despair that flourishes around us. We refuse to look somebody in the eye and continue the charade that they started; so when we are approached to tell the truth, we are honest…and as usual when such circumstances occur, others immediately discount the value of such and attempt to find fault instead of trying to understand the reasoning behind the now exposed proclamation.
Something is wrong when the norm in society is to avoid responsibilities, or to overlook what actually needs to transpire, or to placate others with false promises. Most people ask for the truth but do not actually want to hear it; so everything in life becomes sugarcoated and we are all expected to be accepting of things that aren’t tolerable. It’s easier to accept the falsehoods we wish to create in our minds versus handling the realities that are in actuality, our lives. The truth will set you free…but it will also create the termination of many relationships. It ends some that you placed much more value upon than what others did.
There are days I swear that I’m stuck in the second grade of life; witnessing many others that just never grew up past the despicable mentality of being accusatory or trying to create confrontation and unnecessary conflict with others each day. Some people seem to exist only to try to vocalize perceived faults or negatives in every person that they encounter in life; bullied as children, they become the offenders as adults in the relationships they have with others. I just do not understand how going around angry at the world and being callous with the people you must interact with is a way to live one’s life. And this mentality of behavioral cancer eventually spreads to everybody else, poisoning the relationships of those around them. The domino effect at its worse; negativity breeds negativity. It becomes a near irreversible pyramid scheme in life.
I have always awoken every morning and made it my goal to do my absolute best within the limitations that are encountered. At times I put aside what I want, or the proper decisions that should be made, just so I could be there to support others. Sometimes it becomes impossible to show somebody just how much you were there for them when you have already protected and defended them without their knowing. And sometimes you stay nearby, accepting negativity or wrongful behavior of others, on the dim chance that another may awaken and see what is actually being offered to them. Eventually there comes a time though in which you must move on from relationships that have no positive direction and seek new paths to follow. Time will go on as usual for others until one day they awaken to realize too late what was offered to them. Karma has a way of providing balance and in the end making things equal out eventually.
So, what about happiness? At what part of life do we go from chasing happiness and rainbows to actually not wanting them anymore? When we were all children we laughed, we played, we watched out for each other, we shared, and we found life to be entertaining…and when we didn’t see that anymore, we got up and walked away and found something else to do that brought about that sense of euphoria we wanted back into our lives. Where in life does the light switch get turned off in which we become accepting of daily miseries that must be faced? At what point did we decide to just put up with others that become the toxic relationships in our every day living…or decide to toil endlessly in jobs we hate and complain about to others…or decide the best way through life is to give people answers they wish to hear because it’s just easier than to put up with the consequences of being honest and actually protecting those we are responsible for?
As part of the Year of the Purge that seems to be occurring in my own life, I have found myself slowly ridding myself of not only pernicious relationships but also of material waste and excesses. This year started with three motorcycles in the same garage that now only holds one. Items not used for some time are slowly finding their way out of the home through several different methods. I read ingredients and when the substances are the same, I reach for the generic. For some reason, the materialism light switch for me has turned off; I no longer feel the need to try to have the best vehicle on the street or to try to compete with any other person regarding material statements.
Happiness is not about what you own or the amount of money you have; it’s about the warmth in your heart that you feel as you journey through life. I’m a late bloomer when it comes to some realizations…but for this guy, as I relieve myself of inter-personal and material relationships that truly have no value, I am actually discovering just a little more warmth with each change than what previously existed.
People on their death bed have been asked what their biggest regret in life was. Nobody says they wished they would have maintained bad relationships longer or had worked more hours at their job. Most never say that they regretted trying new things. The common denominator is most people regret not doing the things that they dreamed of, pursuing those chances that occupy our thoughts and dreams. It’s easier to ask for forgiveness when we are wrong than it is for permission to try something new; yet most of us will not even attempt to find the happiness that all so truly deserve. Every day the world goes by taking twenty-four hours out of everybody’s hourglass of life and people just find an excuse to face another day of misery and to not chase their rainbows any longer.
This morning, a cup of coffee is sending wafts of Columbian aroma around me as I write these reflections about recent days and months in my own little world and I sit here with a smile. I feel like I can think again. Life is really what you make it; it’s about purging out the unwanted and embracing or finding whatever makes each of us happy. Some people are happy to be miserable; I found that I do not meet that criteria even though for a long time I thought I could handle this attribute that many others live by. I’m slowly remembering that the vocalized beliefs of others are not who I am regardless how insistent that they may be; that their perceptions of myself and others are often flawed or even intentionally wrong.
The most valuable things a person actually possesses are their word and their promises; I’ve lived up to mine even when others have not lived up to theirs. Some day on my death bed somebody may ask what I am most proud of. At this point, I’d have to say that no matter what, I continually tried, even when facing adversity. I gave the best that I could to help others, I followed through with my promises, and even when others may have cast me aside, I still did my best to protect them and be their friend. In the end we all turn to dust and there will be a day that comes that each of us will no longer even be a memory to the living. We will all cease to exist eventually, even in the thoughts of those that survive each of us. That’s the ultimate equalizer right there. For now though, it is time to focus on making the most out of each day and to continue that hunt for true happiness.
The days to come bring about opportunities to live life, experience new relationships, and to cast aside years of dust webs that I found growing inside of me by both the hands of others as well as myself. There are decisions to make that affect myself and others around me from the past and in the future. Toxicity prevents inhaling the beauty around us; however I can feel the cleansing that is occurring. Just recently, I realize I actually stopped and smelled the fresh spring air for the first time in a very long time. I hear the birds this morning and I see just how dark green the grass is outside my window. The future looks marvelous to me once more.
Go live your life. Life is too short to be miserable. Evaluate those relationships that bind you and do not be afraid to be honest with yourself and others. Restful sleep and real appreciation for what is important in life can and will return once you make the leap to make the most out of your time on this big spinning rock.
I think I am going to take my own advice and go venture over to the horizon and see what opportunities lay just beyond. And if you know of a good place to live, a great job opening that exists, somebody who values friendships and wouldn’t mind adding one more person to their contact list, or a way for a person to ride a motorcycle around the world with unlimited financial backing, let me know. I may just be interested. Some journeys are made to be taken alone; some are much better with the guidance or support of another. I find myself willing to undertake that journey that is yet to come. You should too.
Enjoy your day.