Present Tense

Ignore the speed bumps…

I’ve been going through a challenging time for the past couple of weeks, that admittedly has been completely self-imposed.  In all honesty, my life is working out in an almost magical way, but in order to get through this transition period, I’ve had to struggle with intense impatience and my overwhelming desire to make the rest of the world bend to my wishes and needs.  Just to clarify: that rarely happens, mostly because I expect perfection and the cosmos doesn’t dole that out to us.  Ever.

The ridiculous part is that everything IS working out just the way that I had planned.  It’s as if what I envisioned in my mind’s eye is following a script.  The annoying part of all this for me is that I have let some minor speed bumps take my attention away from the big picture that’s unfolding; a big picture that is seriously transformational in my life.

So, I’ve been trying to remind myself to be grateful.  Every day.  Stop creating pain and suffering where there IS none.  Stop focusing on the minor things that aren’t going the way I’d like them to,  while ignoring the huge positive forces that are in play.  Events and changes that I’ve dreamed of and planned for are unfolding and I can’t stop fretting over the minor details.

Until today.  I got a call from an old friend.  I had texted her earlier to check in on her daughter’s graduation plans.  She called to tell me that they had gone through a very rough week.  One of her daughter’s closest friend lost her father suddenly this past week.  He was strong and fit, but died suddenly while riding his bike.  So, she had spent a lot of time with her friend, helping her deal with this devastating loss.

Then, yesterday, she and a group of friends were celebrating the end of their high school careers with a party on the lake.  A bunch of happy seniors hanging out before they move on to the next phase of their lives and one of her friends drowned at the party.

That is tragedy.  That is pain.  That is suffering.  Imagine the emotions of kids who are in the midst of a time that is full of dreams, hopes, celebration and suddenly they lose a classmate and a classmate’s parent.  In one week.  That is some heavy duty stuff for one so young at a time that should be full of joy.

So, now, an immediate attitude adjustment for me.  A list of gratefuls is in order, here.  The speed bumps are ridiculously small and I feel foolish for even dwelling on them.

I’m sad for my friend’s smart, accomplished, beautiful daughter; I’m sad for everyone that is going through a truly trying time.  In Buddhism, we are told we will experience 10,000 joys and 10,000 sorrows in our lives.  No mention of 10,000 speed bumps.  I’m grateful for this clarity.

June 1, 2013 Posted by | Musings | , , , , , , , , , | 8 Comments


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