If there was a handbook for life it would be empty. There would be hundreds of blank pages. Every page numbered at the bottom of the right hand corner. And a pen velcro(ed) to the the side–> ready at a moments notice to jot down a thought, a prayer, a question, a solution, a painful story, a remarkable memory…
This handbook would be empty.
But only at first.
We all have our very own story. It’s not perfect, but it’s ours. We are all dealt cards to play the game. And like Poker, we don’t get to choose our cards.
I’ve been dealt some shitastic cards in my life. Some amazing-miracle-praise-Jesus kind of cards. Dance-in-my-underwear-I-don’t-give-an-eff kind of cards. The kind of cards that I just want to throw away. The kind of cards I would rather live without. The kinds of cards I tape to my wall to remind me of my battle scars. The Oh-so-fabulous-walk-down-the-catwalk kind of cards. The I-don’t-want-to-leave cards. The kind of cards that I keep safe in a shoe box and peek at when life starts the roller coaster ride without my permission. The cards that are covered in death and sorrow. The kind of cards that are multicolored. The limited edition kind of cards. I think you get the idea.
Sometimes I give myself pep talks. I have a pep talk for just about everything that could possibly go wrong. About everything.
Things are going to pop out when we least expect it. Someone or something is going to throw a shit-storm our way and we won’t know what hit us. We won’t know how to handle it. And we’ll be in shock. And we’d rather just curl up in a ball and forget about the world–> rather than clean up the mess.
Sometimes I’d rather just know the ending of a situation right up front. Sometimes I’d like to know the outcome. Sometimes I beg God for answers and I promise I’ll do anything. I promise I’ll do this…or do that… But I find the more and more I do that…I only find myself more miserable. I believe God has a plan. Not the kind of plan that gets us to heaven. But the kind of plan that gets us through the day. Through life itself.
If I had a handbook of life and I could publish it and sell it at a Barnes & Noble near you. This is what you could read.
You have a beautiful life. It’s full of sunrises and sunsets. It’s full of teeter-tottering events. You will have days where you want to bend air itself to try and control a situation–> but let me save you from that fantasy before you literally start pushing the particles of open space around you. It’s not going to work. You won’t accomplish this imaginative idea that you can fix everything, or that you should.
You were born with such powerful potential. Don’t let anyone make you believe you are meant for one thing or another. You know what you are capable of. You know how strong and motivated you can be. Go ahead–> let people around you remind you of your potential, because there will be days when you feel your life is a big pile of waste. And that you don’t belong. So listen to those motivational speeches. Watch that tear-jerking inspirational film for the tenth time. Surround yourself with honest and sincere friends and family. You have your own powerful potential. But that doesn’t mean you have to discover it on your own.
You have an Academy Award winning story to tell. Your past is written in stone. Your future is yet to be told. And RIGHT now. Right now is happening. And it’s the perfect time to shoot for an Oscar. Don’t miss an opportunity to tell someone you truly care about, but haven’t seen in months, that you love them. Make somebody smile. Dance on rooftops. Dive into the ocean. Take a road-trip. Try something new. Take a chance on falling in love. So what if it falls a part. It’s going to break your heart, no doubt. But so are many other things in life. It’s going to teach you something, no matter what the outcome. What’s that quote about love? –>’It’s better to have loved, then to have never loved at all?’
Your life is not better or worse off than anybody else. We all have our own journey. Just as no two snowflakes are alike, no two people are alike. Stop comparing yourself to others. Nobody lives the exact same life. What works for one person, is NOT going to work for another. Sure. We are going to agree with people about how to raise our children, where to eat out on a Saturday night, what movie to spend our money on, and what kind of pet to own, etc. But pushing our beliefs, ideas, opinions, what-worked-for-me-will-work-for-you kind of stuff on others is NOT going to do anyone any good. Encourage people based on your good experience. Tell them how you personally felt about something. Help them when they ask you to. Go ahead–> give constructive advice…because you’ve been in a similar situation before–>but DON’T expect someone to accept your solution every time for everything. You’ll only become disappointed and angry.
You are doing the best you can. If your house is spotless, congrats. But if you let it slip for a day, a week. Calm down. It’s not the end of the world. It’s going to happen. You’re not superwoman/man. And don’t try to be. If your neighbor across the street baked three batches of cookies, folded four loads of laundry, and managed to put the perfectly hung Christmas lights on their house all in a span of 3 hours. (is that even possible?) Don’t get flustered and upset that you couldn’t even finish the dishes in an hour. At least you tried. Your neighbor may have more time on their plate. Maybe you’re a mom with three kids and your husband works all day. Maybe you’re a single mom with a full time job to support your only child that thinks you’re the coolest person in the world, so you do everything you can to maintain that image in their head –>that you are superwoman. But you’re not. So sometimes you forget to pick your kid up from school. Or maybe you didn’t have two seconds to sit down all week, so you have no groceries in the refrigerator. It’s going to happen. Just know, you’re doing it right. No matter if you think you’re the biggest screw up. You’re loving your family. And some people show that in different ways. You may work all day. Or maybe you’re a stay at home parent. Whatever it is. You’re doing your best.
You are going to cry. And it’s going to help. You’re going to need to take time out of your busy crazy life to shed a tear. It’s going to suck. But it’s going to be okay. You’re going to think a million things, including the part where you believe the world is ending. But in time the sun will peek its head out of the clouds and dry up all the tears.
You are going to laugh. And I hope it’s loud. I hope you laugh so hard that your stomach hurts and you almost pee your pants. You’re going to laugh at things you didn’t think you could laugh at. And maybe it’s not funny to your best friend…but it’s funny to you –> so you laugh your ass off. And it’s going to be a beautiful laugh and you’re going to take it all in, because you deserve to.
You matter. You are a valuable human being. Somebody somewhere loves you. Don’t wear yourself out. Don’t let people take advantage of you. Don’t let them use you. Remember your self worth. Remember that you have a giant heart, but don’t jeopardize its beat for somebody who isn’t going to return the favor. Pick your friends wisely. And just because you share blood with somebody doesn’t mean you have to let them make you feel unimportant. Take care of yourself. Allow yourself to have feelings. Don’t let somebody make you believe that your thoughts are stupid. ‘You is kind. You is smart. You is important.’
You are going to make mistakes. You are going to stumble and fall. You’re going to fall so far you’ll need a ladder to climb back up. You’re going to break the rules. You’re going to scrape your knee. You’re going to fall flat on your face. You’re going to think that you’re the worst person and that nothing good ever happens to you. You’re going to be wrong. But it’s okay to feel like this. But only for so long. And then you’re going to stand back up. You’re going to climb that ladder. And you’re going to wipe the dirt of your pants and you’re going to get through this. Because you’re going to make mistakes. But you’re going to learn from them. It’s going to take time. And it’s not going to happen over night. But you will be blessed. And all these ‘bad’ times will help you see the ‘good’ times. Because without the bad, you cannot know the good in life.
You are stronger than you think you are. You’re going to remind yourself of all the times in your life when you thought you wouldn’t pull through, but you did. And then you’re going to put your armor on and do it again. And again. And again. Because it’s not going to stop. Life isn’t going to suddenly become freshly squeezed lemonade without the work of squeezing the lemons. You’re going to have to scrub the tile on your hands and knees. You’re going to have to bite your tongue. And you’re going to have to breathe in and out for a good ten minutes. You’re going to cry in your car before you go back inside your house after a long day. You’re going to yell at a pedestrian crossing the street because your patience is running thin. You’re going to clench your fist. You’re going to lose your temper. You’re going to say mean things that you will take back later because you never meant so say them from the beginning. But you’re going to be strong. Because it’s all you will have left after you’ve fought for so long.
These are the things I tell myself. And so if we’re anything alike…hopefully you can relate and take some of these reminders and get through the hard times. And remember the good.
Thanks for hearing me out.