Friday, January 10, 2014

"To Be Or Not To Be..."

          I have a cousin who is only six months younger than I.  For the period of time that she and her family lived near us, we were more like sisters than cousins.  Our family said we argued like siblings before we could really even talk!  When we only knew a few words, we quickly learned how to use that limited vocabulary to interact and keep the “conversation” going.  When I would say “yes,” she would immediately say “no.”  If I said “no,” she would respond with an emphatic “yes!”  We are both very strong willed individuals, so I am certain these debates probably lasted for quite some time.

          This morning as I took some time to reflect over my goals and actions of the previous year and outline my plans for the year, this memory of my cousin and I popped into my head.  No matter what it is that we set out to accomplish, achieve, or experience in life, there are always voices inside our head arguing the pros and cons of it all.  That is not necessarily a bad thing, as we do need to weigh our options, our actions, our motives etc. very carefully before we step forward.  However, if we continue the debate too long, we find ourselves stuck – stuck in limbo, stuck in mediocrity, stuck in fear, stuck in regret, STUCK!  Have you ever been there?  I have!  Sometimes we can argue so long, and wait too long until the moment or the opportunity has passed, to where the momentum leaves never to return, and to where support from others is withdrawn and we are left alone to pick up the pieces and regroup from it all.

          If you are looking in the mirror of your life and having that argument with yourself “to be or not to be…” take a moment not to just talk, but to listen.  Sometimes when we debate something in our life too loudly we miss the lesson, we miss instruction and we miss what the universe is plainly showing us.  You’ve heard it said “don’t miss the forest for looking at the trees.”  Last year, I jumped headfirst in a writing project for my first book.  I had been dabbling at it for a few years, but never really committed to its completion.  Once I jumped in, the momentum would ebb and flow.  “Life” stepped in a few times to deter my forward momentum.  Some of those things were beyond my control – such as a neck/spine surgery that had me out of commission for over three months.  But rather than allowing the argument “to be or not to be” consume me, I took some time to listen, to figure out what needed to be done to move forward again.  As I did, the writing project that I thought was complete began to grow and morph.  I began to understand more and more that everything happens in its time if you allow the process to continue and not debate it continually.  There were a few moments I wanted to “shut the cover” of the book and just forget it.  Then when I finally did complete it, I submitted it for my proof review.  When it came back there were several necessary rewrites!  More delays!!!!!  This time however, I didn’t stare myself down in the mirror to argue or debate.  I simply put “pen in hand” (well computer keyboard - but you get the point) and began to let the most recent life lessons weave themselves into the existing tapestry of the book.  I was amazed! 

Just a few days ago, I finished my editing again and began to do my last “read through.”  On the very night that I had planned on uploading the files, I had an impromptu dinner with my son.  As I did, a conversation that has been “waiting in the wings” for several years, began to unfold.  We talked about parts of my life that my son had never asked about before.  We talked about his life and delays and experiences he had gone through and is still walking through.  He became ready to hear about things from the past that he had never had an interest in knowing before.  Suddenly, the light came on for both of us!  I realized that every single thing I had experienced over the years had deeper meaning - as they were meant to be a lesson for my son to give him understanding into his own life direction.  At that moment, we both had an epiphany of sorts.  I knew without a doubt the purpose in the delays to the completion of the book writing project and finally felt a release to cross the last “t” and dot the final “i” in the book.  Had I debated with myself too long and either rushed the book’s completion, or shelved it altogether, this life-changing moment would not have happened.  So what is the lesson in it all?  Talk less, listen more, trust the whisper of your heart, trust the process and believe that everything happens in its time just as it is meant to be.  Don’t miss it!  Don’t worry about whether something is “to be or not to be…”  Everything that is meant to be, finds its way into our lives if we slow down long enough to pay attention….