Category Archives: Becoming through change

Life isn’t about being stagnant, it’s about growing and becoming all we have within us to be. That only happens through change. Sometimes the changes are pretty brutal and take a lifetime. But not only do we become more in the end, we learn to see the everyday in a new and clearer light.

Should we regret our regrets?

Regret: To feel sorry for something: to feel sorry and sad about something previously done or said that now appears wrong, mistaken, or hurtful to others.

Isn’t there a song that laments “regrets, I’ve got a few”? Unless you have lived pretty much a perfect life, you have things that you wish you could change or do over.

I do.

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There was a classmate who was teased in grade school and made to cry. This was back in the wonderful period when parents called each other about things their children had done. And it was in the time that the parent dealt with the child and taught them to do right and not wrong. I remember clearly my mother coming up the stairs and talking to me about it. I will never forget the disappointment on her face when I denied it.

I regret both doing the teasing, and then lying to my mother about it.

I remember to this day the look on a wonderful person’s face, who was also a wonderful friend, when I made a snotty comment in junior high about her clothes. It still haunts me at 47. Who did I think I was?

I will always regret that.

Is that bad? Continue reading Should we regret our regrets?

To avoid reaching our breaking point, do we need to already be broken?

Last night was kind of a rough one for me. I couldn’t go to sleep. I was relaxed. I was tired. But each time I started to doze off, my head jerked a little and there I was again, wide awake. The last time I looked at the clock was at 4:00 this morning.

That is a lot of time to just quietly be alone and do some thinking. Even for me.

As I lay there, I couldn’t help but go over the past several weeks. Kind of action packed, but without the great memories of a fun trip or outing.

It had been about six weeks that I had been spinning and revving up into the ceiling, so we were tired to begin with. Then the unexpected stay in the loony bin, which no matter what you may think, is NOT a vacation or rest of any kind. Then we discovered another clot in my leg at the same time that my levels of blood thinners were high and my blood, theoretically, should be too thin, not too thick. So back to Salt Lake twice again this week and other doctor appointments here in Logan.

Enough already, right? Continue reading To avoid reaching our breaking point, do we need to already be broken?

What’s the line between personal expression and being respectful?

When I was in high school and college, I was certainly one who had an eye out for fashion. I’m not sure how often I hit the mark, but I thought I was pretty styling (perhaps even the use of that phrase shows just how far off I was!).

For my senior year of high school, I had wanted a pair of pointed-toe, flat-heeled, black leather boots to wear with jeans.

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I had seen the whole look in a poster and couldn’t forget how cool I thought the guy looked. His haircut, his shirt, everything said what I wanted to say about myself. Even the incredibly daring small gold hoop earring that he wore in his left ear.

My best friend Bryan and I went on a quest to Salt Lake to shop for clothes. My favorite shoe shop in the mall was The Wild Pair. I’m pretty sure the name says it all; at any rate, the sign above the door was very appropriate.

I found them.

We’ve all had a favorite pair of shoes at one time or another. These were mine. Continue reading What’s the line between personal expression and being respectful?

O death, where is thy sting?

Ann and I just returned from attending the funeral of a wonderful, wonderful lady whom I have known for at least 35 years.

From the first encounter, it was obvious that this person was extraordinary. She didn’t just speak, she effused energy and enthusiasm.

I remember the story she shared with us at church about an experience she had walking through a cemetery. As she shared, I could tell that many people were feeling uncomfortable and raising their eyebrows. It was obvious by the look on their faces that they weren’t sure that this was appropriate.

But I was only about 10, so I wasn’t so concerned with what was and what wasn’t appropriate. I was able to just listen to her as she poured out her feelings.

I learned that she would go to the cemetery when she was discouraged and quietly walk among the headstones, stopping to read each one as she passed it. Soon she would find herself thinking about each individual person. She imagined that they must have been kind and loving because of the phrases that had been etched in stone about them.

After years of this, she had come to feel that she knew them. They became friends and examples. She could feel love and gratitude for the contribution they had made to their families, to their communities, and by extension, to the world.

And buoyed up, she could clear her mind of discouragement and was ready to again stand tall, choosing to continue with the same type of life, one that would make a difference.

And she did.

This wonderful, bright, happy, optimistic spirit was housed in a body that was stricken with multiple sclerosis. She had it for more than 40 years, so I never knew her without it. It was revelatory to me to look at pictures of her today in a cheerleading uniform, full of free movement and all the invincibility of youth.

But I realized that it was a perfect picture of her, for she had been cheering on those around her, everyone she met, her entire life. When I looked at her outstretched arms and immediately recognized the selfless expression on her face – she was just experiencing the joy of what the others were doing – I felt that was the Nancy I had always known.

Will always know.

Easter morning comes each year to quietly remind us of exactly that fact. It is not “Nancy was…”; it’s “Nancy is.”

This wonderful, sacred time is not so much a remembrance of the reality of death, as it is a bright, energetic, optimistic celebration of life.

It takes away the worry and panic about the day when others may reflect that “I was…” and gives me permission to find joy that “I am.”

“I am”, right now.

So are you.

Regardless of what any of us may profess from a pulpit or share passionately through expressed word, the truth is that we give every day of our lives for what we actually and honestly believe.

Our actions boldly declare where our thoughts and hearts lie.

What will I do today that will show what I truly believe?

What will you?

Will we slow down enough to really hear what someone says? To clearly see the hope in their eyes as they dare to express, dare to dream, dare to do? Will we cheer them on?

Nancy did.

No.

Nancy does.

Life is eternal and precious. After our experiences here we will go on. I’m sure that there are many different and wonderful things that we can go on to, but the real point is that we will go on.

We will continue.

So it’s time to start now to do the things that we would like to be in a position to keep doing.

The final speaker at the funeral today painted a wonderful scene that each of us immediately saw as clear and true. He helped us to see the bright, energetic, optimistic Nancy continuing on. I closed my eyes and saw her in her cheerleading uniform. Her jumps were high and her movements were strong as she glowed, awash in the joy of life.

The love that was at times contained by the confines of her bedridden body is now shining free and pure, lifting all around her. Perhaps in this lifetime she was slowed down by physical limitations; but in that housing her spirit soared and grew and she learned to fly.

I hope that the next generation will take the time to walk through the cemetery and stop to read Nancy’s headstone. I hope they will take the time to think, and listen, and feel, and get to know her as a friend and an example.

And I hope that each of us will find the way to not only move haltingly forward, but in our own way to learn how to fly.

What if I don’t want to be the way I am?

I’m one of those people who, after an experience with others is over, will take time to go back through the exchange and evaluate how things went. More often than not, I cringe at things I said or did and really want to call out for a “do-over.”

Of course, it is too late.

Most people would find it pretty annoying to get a call from me where I tell them “Here is what I should have said.” They have moved on already. I probably need to too.disagree

What are these little mannerisms or characteristics that scream for “do-overs”? They are things about me that I wish were different. It makes me wonder what is the composite picture of me that others see?

Really, what makes me, well, me?

Continue reading What if I don’t want to be the way I am?