This life is full of emotional math. One minute, you are whistling a happy tune, walking on the sunny side of the street. Blink. You are at a dead-stop in a silent place you cannot identify. And there are no signs and there are too many signs, indicating where your next step should be. Addition, subtraction, multiplication, and division. Math did not come easy to me in school. Life does not come easy to anyone. But, subtraction is overcome by addition, division by multiplication. This I do know. Just because.
Latest lessons (using “I” only because it is easier; feel free to insert “you” anywhere):
- Just because … I can’t see doesn’t mean I don’t want to. Often times, we are irritated and impatient with others when we believe they are beating a dead horse, not moving fast enough, lazy, playing the victim. Guilty. Add compassion.
- Just because … you find yourself “lost” does not mean you will not be “found”. Subtract despair, multiply hope.
- Just because … you face the unknown on all fronts does not mean anything other than you may be at the doorstep of the best life you’ve ever known. Negative thinking is easy. Divide it into smithereens, erase, and add amazing possibilities to each and every half empty glass in your possession.
- Just because … you perceive a situation one way doesn’t mean it is true. A friend told me she’d recently seen another friend; instead of stopping to chat, the other friend turned and went a different way. Friend #1 had hurt feelings. What friend #1 didn’t know is that friend #2 was in a state of grief and despair, unable to talk to anyone at the time. “Things” usually aren’t what they seem. Isn’t this the spot where we subtract ego and add mercy?
- Just because … I do what must be done does not mean I am “strong”. It means I don’t have a choice, a receiver going wide to catch my pass. “A joy shared is doubled, a sorrow shared is divided.” Subtract judgemental attitude, add empathy and provide a shoulder for the “strong” so they have a place to lean.
- Just because … you reach out to a friend and the friend blows you off doesn’t make that friend a bad person. We all interpret needs differently. May I remember I am never too busy, too tired, not interested, or too self-absorbed to set aside all that to grasp a hand extended to me. Add discernment, subtract agenda. Multiply with love.
- Just because … someone doesn’t operate the way I think they should doesn’t make me right. Intolerant and judgemental? Yes. May I remember that most everyone is doing the very best they can. This is not a hall pass for the intentionally harmful; but it is a reminder to me that I can add a whole bunch more kindness, love, consideration, and patience when dealing with most everyone.
There is always a learning curve, isn’t there? And the road goes squiggly just when you think you’ve got a most excellent grip on your life. But it is in the releasing that grip on what wasn’t, opening your eyes, your hands, and your heart to whatever comes next … well, that’s where the lesson is. And God knows, I still have much to learn.