Monday, February 2, 2009

Better Living Through Cliches

I can't even begin to recount all of the "advice" I've received over the past year. People tend to throw out some standard piece of advice in hopes of making us feel better/more enlightened/less ostracized. Admittedly, being told something remotely sympathetic is better than being told nothing. After all, its the thought that counts right? But when you've racked up as many cliches and bits of wisdom as we have, it's hard to know which to follow. Everybody has to throw in their two cents.

Should I let go and let God? After all, he has a plan for me. Maybe I should tell him my plans so that I can have a laugh. Or should I go the other route and be the change I want to see? Don't I control my own destiny? Did I bring this on through the law of attraction? What lesson is God trying to teach people by giving them life threatening illnesses? Because really, I didn't think A or I were really that bad of people; is this the lesson we needed? If everything happens for a reason, what is the reason for this? If good things come to those who wait, how much longer is it going to be? Patience is NOT my best virtue.

The one cliche that has really kept me going is- what doesn't kill us makes us stronger. I can't deny that what we've been through has taught me lessons- about being compassionate when you have nothing left to give, on speaking up and asking questions and how topical some friendships really are. This year hasn't killed me- physically, emotionally or spiritually, so it must have made me stronger.

Although A and I attend church, and it's marginally Christian based, we both subscribe to some Hindu beliefs as well. The concept of dharma which includes making the best decision one can at the time, with the information that is available and then running with it. No looking back or second guessing, but believing in oneself and knowing you did the best you could . I also subscribe to the concept of doing the best job one can, no matter what the job- menial or complicated. I try to do the right thing and create Karma, although the whole reincarnation thing is a bit beyond me. Good karma fits in nicely with Christianity's Golden Rule. And what goes around, comes around right? But if the road to hell is paved with good intentions, where does that leave us?

I can't say that I'm perfect by any means. I'll admit to having a black spot on my heart for someone who did something that I had no control over and it continues to haunt my life. The fact that they said they would remove my responsibility for the issue and then have yet, to my knowledge, to follow through on that makes me feel justified. However, pretty is as pretty does- I know I should forgive. But I can't. Does that make my karma that bad? Shouldn't his be worse?

I guess the silver lining in this cloud is that it prompted me to return to school. Something I've always said I wanted to do but didn't have the focus to decide what to return for. I already know that I am strong enough to be a single parent, strong enough to follow through even when things are tough, and strong enough to be the strength for someone else. It's time to continue to live and learn because there is no time like the present.

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