Hi and welcome back to Second Chance to Live my friend. I am happy you decided to stop by and visit with me. As I have mentioned in previous posts I attend support group meetings. The format of the meetings typically involves one member bringing a topic before the group. Once the topic is introduced, the meeting proceeds and each person attending the meeting has several minutes to share from their experience, strength and hope on the topic. I attended a meeting last night and the topic of grieving was brought before the group.
As the discussion began I heard parents share about their sadness concerning the hope and dreams they had for their adult children. Addiction and poor choices seemed to dash the confidence of these parents. As the discussion proceeded around the circle, I listened and was encouraged by what each member shared with the group. When my turn came to share I felt impressed to share what I have learned through my process. In my experience, figuratively speaking I had to learn life lessons on my way through the valley of the shadow of death.
I had to reach an emotional bottom before I became willing to make healthy and empowering choices.
I went on to share with the parents and other members of the group another message. I believe the message I shared with them can apply to any situation or set of circumstances. In my 50 years of experience I have learned a valuable lesson. I do not have the big picture. Many times my understanding is limited to a snap shot of life. If I stay fixated on the snap shot or on a series of snap shots I may find myself believing that my future is limited. In the event that I focus on specific snap shots I may want to throw in the towel and give up on life.
On the other hand, when I accept that I do not have the big picture, I can let go of the outcomes. I can trust the process. I speak from years of experience. Many, many times I have encountered baffling circumstances as an individual with an invisible disability – before I knew that such a disability existed. Living during those times seemed to be a gauntlet of experiences that led to a series of disappointments. I have heard and believe it to be so that hindsight has 20 / 20 or perfect vision.
I now realize that apart from the lessons I learned through those struggles – please read my post, My Journey thus Far – I would not have been prepared to live the life I have imagined. I have shared a specific quote in several of my previous posts that continues to speak volumes to me. “ If you advance confidently in the direction of your dreams and endeavor to live the life that you have imagined…you will meet with success unexpected in common hours.” Henry David Thoreau
What I did not know then — when I was encountering those baffling circumstances — I now know were preparing me to fulfill my destiny.
My message to you my friend is, “Don’t focus on the snap shots of your life or on the snap shots of your children’s lives”. We do not have the big picture. We can not look into the future, nor can we predict how the dots of life will connect. Like the design of an exquisite tapestry, so goes our life. One side of the tapestry reveals multicolored threads that seem to be in disarray and make little sense, however on the reverse side an intricate design is being formed.
If we chose to focus on the snap shots or garbled threads you and I may be become disheartened, but if we learn to trust the process, a loving God and ourselves we can experience a new freedom and a new happiness. Although we may not understand how the threads of our children’s experiences are going to work together for their good we can have serenity. We do not have to connect the dots. We can let go of control. We can surrender to the process because more will be revealed.
Receive more articles like this one simply by clicking on Subscribe to Second Chance to Live by email.
All material presented on Second Chance to Live is copyright and cannot be copied, reproduced, or distributed in any way without the express, written consent of Craig J. Phillips, MRC, BA