Thursday, January 28, 2010


I remember, as a boy, running a race with two other boys. Across a playground, just to the other side. They both easily outdistanced me and as I watched their backs move away, I tripped. As the frustration of not being athletic rose up, I noticed this five dollar bill under my nose. That was a lot of money in the early 60's. I found it, it was mine, it was well worth the fall and, in my mind, I'd won the race.

This story came up as I drove home from a counselling appointment. With all the darkness that was painting my interior landscapes and the accompanying fantasies that things would feel better if I was chemically numb or, flitting around the edges of my mind, dead. That darkness has been lifting the past couple of weeks and I almost thought I could do without the counselling but went ahead.

He spoke in a language that I could easily understand. He reminded me that, on my palette, there was a full spectrum of colour. That as I painted my life, there was more than greys or black to choose from. The word "create" was brought up many times, mostly right after I used the word "find."

I have spent most of my life waiting for things to happen to me. I had convinced myself that in the waiting was the moral high ground. That "God" would provide for me every thing that I would need. Every thing that happens, good or bad, is what I deserved. I was caught in a thinking trap, I had made an untruth into a truth. I held on to it and still hold on to it. I lived my life very passively, hoping others would do for me what I was unwilling to do for myself.

I can't remember how many times I've gone to a meeting hoping to hear just the right thing that would snap me out of the dark corner I had painted myself into. Occasionally, I would hear the right words and come out of the meeting feeling better; this happened enough times that I started to believe it was the right way to be. I would neglect to think about most of the other times where I have left meetings angry or with tears for my emotional pain had not been lifted. This passive waiting just does not work. I want to find meaning at a meeting, I best do so myself. And as you readers have commented many times, it's in the action that we find life.

The counsel I received was simple. To have meaning or purpose in my life, I am the one who will create it. I am the one who is responsible. This past summer, I was taking responsibility, I was laid off work, and went through the process of enrolling and attending university. I lost that when I was called back to work and did not have the finances to continue schooling. I believe I gave up after that, went back into waiting to find something, lost whatever zeal I had. I don't have to do that.

I am responsible for my own life. The dark colours that have accompanied most of my life will continue, there is no way to loose them. But I can blend in others and change the picture. This should be interesting and fun.

Thank you.

Photo Credit: Petra


Lou said...

I enjoy reading that you have found hope, that life is interesting...and yes, it is fun! I believe God wants us to enjoy the abundance of life.

But sometimes we have to work at that harder than at other times.

Elizabeth Fry said...

I liked this blog, because, like you, I find myself waiting . . . sometimes for direction, sometimes for creativity, sometimes for belief in myself. I think I'll try to overcome that.

And as Lou states, I believe God wants us to enjoy abundance as well. I wish I could enjoy my abundance a little more abundantly thought. Just kidding.