My Mother imparted very little wisdom to me in my growing up years. A person can’t give their children what they don’t have themself. Mostly I learned from her what not to do. I know she meant no harm, but the legacy she helped to create for me made adulthood challenging at times (OK, truthfully… hell at times). Forgiveness was hers from me long ago. I bear no ill-will or anger toward her today, but even after all this time I wish to have nothing to do with my Mother (nor does 3 of 4 of my siblings). One of the best self-care moves a person can make is to sometimes keep another out of their life.
When I was sixteen years old I do remember one jewel of wisdom my Mother shared with me. The time was my first real heartbreak and I was sitting on the living room couch crying a little but trying to hold it back so no one would notice. My Mother walked through the room, saw something was up and asked what was going on. I told her my girlfriend had broken my heart and did not want to be with me any more. Her reply was something like “there will be lots of girls in your life until you find the one you are able to give your whole heart to. It’s a process of elimination. You’ll have to go through the ones that hurt you and aren’t a good fit in order to find a girl deserving of your whole heart”.
I am confident she was not thinking I would be in my 50’s, single and still waiting for the experience of giving my whole heart to someone. There have been a few women who loved me and were deserving of my whole heart, but I was unable to give it. In recent years I have done well dealing with my “stuff”. Being healthier mentally and shaking off most of the childhood crap has opened up to the world to me as never before. My chances are getting better each day such a thing as giving my whole heart to someone can yet happen for me in this life time.
What brought all this up in my thoughts was a passage I came across that most often has the author noted as “anonymous” but sometimes the thoughts are attributed to Matti Nykanen, a ski jumper from Finland who won several Olympic medals in the 80’s. No matter who wrote it, there is raw truth and deep wisdom to be found in the following seven sentences.
As we grow up, we learn that even the one person that wasn’t supposed to ever let us down, probably will.
You’ll have your heart broken and you’ll break others’ hearts.
You’ll fight with your best friend or maybe even fall in love with them, and you’ll cry because time is flying by.
So take too many pictures, laugh too much, forgive freely, and love like you’ve never been hurt.
Life comes with no guarantees, no time outs, no second chances.
You just have to live life to the fullest, tell someone what they mean to you and tell someone off, speak out, dance in the pouring rain, hold someone’s hand, comfort a friend, fall asleep watching the sun come up, stay up late, be a flirt, and smile until your face hurts.
Don’t be afraid to take chances or fall in love and most of all; live in the moment because every second you spend angry or upset is a second of happiness you can never get back.
Had someone asked if I was being true to these thoughts twenty years ago, I would have said “Yes”. From the perspective of today I know such a statement would have been delusional. While I can’t speak for anyone but me, I know for certain my 20’s, 30’s and my 40’s were fraught with misapprehension. That’s the thing about delusion… it can only exist if one can’t see it. Here at 50-something I don’t pretend to have shaken the foggy filters off completely, but I do have much better clarity than ever before. Truly I am the most ready for what life brings. I am grateful to be standing in the doorway of the life I have waited for!
It’s not who you are that holds you back,
it’s who you think you’re not.