Well, it may sound highly self absorbed of me and it probably is, but one of my life long lessons has been learning that this life is “not about me”. Boy, I’d like to say it’s been an easy lesson to learn, but I’d be lying, it’s tough and still can be on a frequent basis (confessions good for the soul, right?).
I can remember as a child when this painful truth just started to become apparent to me. My birthday is on the 4th of July and every year for MY birthday a big multi-million dollar production of fireworks was set off for my special day, I even saw fireworks on the television, everyone was into celebrating MY special day…imagine my 5 year old horror when I realized the fireworks weren’t necessarily for ME, they had something to do with Independence day and freedom or something like that?! Or imagine my shock, when I stay home from school because I’m sick and the school actually still opened without MY attendance! The painful lesson began…
It is highly likely that I am a slow learner regarding this specific life lesson, but I look at myself and at many of those I work with, call friend, see in the news and I don’t think I’m the only one struggling with this fact of life. Life simply doesn’t go the way we want it sometimes. We’re not where we thought we would be, doing what we thought we’d be doing, with who we want to be doing it with and what do we do with that?
I have spent way too much of my life either dealing with the past or focusing so much on a desired future that I altogether miss out on the gift of today AND it is a gift my friends. Today is not something I’m owed because I’m me, my ideal future is not guaranteed because it’s what I want and the growth I think comes when we can learn to embrace today, even with it’s perceived imperfections, even when it’s not where we thought we would be and it doesn’t look like we thought it would. It’s still a gift! My prayer is that I would learn to cherish it, to grab hold of it, celebrate it and realize, it’s not all about me and you know what…that’s o.k.!