I thought about titling this blog: Life is a Journey...nah...too trite. Then I thought...Life is a Highway...still too trite and I didn't want that song looping in your head through this entire blog (hopefully it won't). Although trite, both of these statements are true. I think about all of the events and journeys I have been through that have brought me to this place place in my life and this moment in time. Little Flower was born out my own journey of self exploration and trying to figure out (in my 40s) who I really am and why I am here (I like to jump right into the deep end of the pool).
I was kind of pushed into this journey in 2013 (a story for another time)...I can tell you that from outward appearances I seemed to have it all...a loving, extremely patient husband, three beautiful healthy children, a nice split level in the suburbs. We were fortunate that my husband had a nice job and I was able to quit working after the birth of our third child to stay home to raise them with love and patient kindness. Yet by the summer of 2013 that was not what was happening. I was not patient at all and although I tried...had bouts of not so kind behavior. I had an ever growing river of discontent that started fueling angry outbursts and all around irritability (especially aimed at my husband). I began looking for things and people to blame for my unhappiness. I started with the "if onlys"...if only I had ...a new minivan (I know, aim high)....a new living room set (we don't have the money), a vacation somewhere warm (again...the money thing). If only...my husband made more money (pick an amount, cause it still wouldn't be enough) then I could afford the new minivan, living room set, vacation...you can see where I am going with this. Little did I know back then, it was my thinking and focusing on the "have nots" that that was fueling my unhappiness and discontent...so in a nutshell...it was me. I was the problem. When I finally figured that out (thankfully before I did real damage to my marriage), I knew I was the one who had to change...but how? All I knew for sure was that I was the one who was going to have to figure it out...not my husband (who, by the way, is a problem solver by nature), not my friends (all amazing listeners and confidants), certainly not my parents (they had their own problems).
Where do I start on this journey of self discovery? I saw Elizabeth Gilbert's journey in the movie Eat, Pray, Love...it took her all over the world...self indulging on food, checking out new religions, spiritual practices and places of true inspirational beauty. At the time, I couldn't journey down the shore for a long a weekend, there was no way I was going to Bali (as warm and lovely as it looks). I had the same yearning as Elizabeth, however, I knew there was no way I could travel the globe searching for the purpose of my life. I had three kids, a husband, and aging parents to care for...there was no way I was go India, Bali,or even, Florida (I don't know, I thought maybe I was just cold all this time and needed a warmer climate). So, I figured the meaning of life will have to come to me in good ole Cranford, NJ...and it did. In fact, I never really went much further than my own backyard. So, I hopped on the trail of self discovery and took my whole family with me...they really didn't have a choice.
One of the first things I discovered "on the trail" was that to realize my life purpose, I will have to look at the challenges and struggles I have already been through in my life and look for the lessons to be learned in each of them. That can be a time consuming task! As I went through the events of my life and looked for the lessons, more than a few times I said...hey I learned that lesson! I knew that lesson at the time the event happened, I guess I forgot. Sometimes we learn the lesson and then forget...apparently I have done this more than a few times. When this happens, the "not sinking in" of life's lessons, the Universe has to present it again in another way. In an effort to avoid "having to take the class over", I began keeping a journal, however, I do more writing than reading of my journal...who wants to read all the crap you've already journeyed through? So, I thought I will share with you some of the things I have learned along the way. The reason for this is two-fold: (1) This will make the Universe happy because it show that I am paying attention and the lessons are sinking in
and (2) You guys can help...when you see me starting to screw up and get off track you can say, "Hey, MK, looks like you're about to screw up...you learned that lesson already." "Oh, right! Thanks!" I think if we all do this together, it may just work. So, each week I will share with you the things I have learned that week or maybe that year...the good, the bad, the ugly (there I go making trite references again). Who knows maybe you will pick up a nugget of something that can help you on your journey.
So, I leave you with one of the first lessons I learned:
Only You Can Make You Happy and no one is able to figure it out for you and, likewise, you cannot do the figuring out for anyone else. That's against The Rules and doesn't work in the end anyway. Bonus Challenge: The figuring out is different for each one of us.
Happy Trails! Til next time...