Making Your Getaway

path_love_friendshipUnder the pavement, the dirt dreams of grass.    Wendell Berry

Like even the dirt under the pavement, we all aspire to greater things. Ah, but the universe is so uncooperative with what we know is the absolute best for us and everyone else. It is rigidly operating by itself with no assistance from us. It seems oblivious to our pleading and ministrations, as we hurl ourselves at it with more and more force trying to have an impact that doesn’t break us in the process.

Everyone talks about surrender as a solution. But sometimes (I know I speak blasphemy here) surrender doesn’t work and, when it doesn’t, there is a very concrete reason. Surrender doesn’t work without it’s essential precursor.

Failure.

What??????

Failure is actually the gateway to almost everything good. Specifically, the key to getting our hearts’ desire is admitting total defeat and giving up! Sometimes our best efforts and best intent lead us the wrong way, especially when we are married to a particular outcome and can’t see ourselves being peaceful without it. Without this acknowledgment, how can true surrender possibly occur?

Those people who truly are successful and content have become adaptable to the fact that everything can change on a dime. They face life on life’s terms with integrity.

One of the definitions of integrity is undiminished.

The truth can be a real bitch. We get where we want to be by seeing that what we have done hasn’t really worked this time, embracing it, and not letting it diminish us one little bit– not our joy, our dreams, our faith, our belief in and love for ourselves, or the recognition that we have value—always, no matter what is happening.

Someone very wise gave me some great advice in one of my first corporate jobs, which I didn’t heed until much later:

The key to being successful in any career is being willing and ready to walk away at any time. You have to know when to make a timely exit.

I now understand it applies to my thinking as well as my career.

If I am obsessing about how I think something should work out for me or for others, I’m not going to get any smarter listening to my own circular thoughts. Time to heed the exit sign.

So, can we accept that out story is our perception, but maybe not the absolute truth, that what we think is bad for us, actually turns out to be good sometimes, that what we think is good for us, can turn out to be anything but? Can we accept that we aren’t ever in control of anything, but that’s actually a great thing, because someone or something of infinitely greater wisdom, love, compassion and insight is in charge? Can we accept these eventual truths with enthusiasm, love, and personality undiminished? 

If we can, life is an adventure, full of miracles, like a never-ending road trip.

Exit sign

Is a long green line

to freedom.

Taste of release,

sweet feeling of peace,

sound of heavenly music and praise,

I can feel my hands raise

in exultation,

cool tingle of expectation,

smell of fresh- cut grass

and spring,

as I look at the horizon and sing:

Amen. An end is always a beginning.

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