Crossing the monkey bars

“Getting over a painful experience is much like crossing monkey bars. You have to let go at some point in order to move forward.” – C.S. Lewis

I like this one and it reminds me that courage is necessary because sometimes letting go of old life styles is the only way to move forward. This is the third of my four quotes that I chose for my ‘reinventing my life’ blog.

Wow! In just a moment one’s life and life style can be changed. Just one moment an announcement of a health problem is made, and…BAM…your life has been changed. For me, this time, it was a health issue. It could be loss of a job or of a loved one. Any one of those situations can change our lives. Of those, the loss of a loved one has changed me the most.

I have lost loved ones; friends, my mother, my father and a young daughter. My live was changed so much after each of those losses. It’s not only that your life has changed, but that you have been changed. Still today I can not speak or write of the depth of the loss I felt from the death of my daughter. Yet you have to get back on the monkey bars. You do. I can still vividly remember the first time that I fell off monkey bars. The breath was knocked out of me, my eyes were open, but I couldn’t breathe and I remember wondering if I was still alive. That is just how I felt when my daughter died. I stayed on the ground a long time wondering if I could possibly live. Later, it gave me a perspective of what should matter in life. Letting go of grieve was my new monkey bar. I carried grieve with me, it was buried in me and I couldn’t let it go for many years. You might wonder if I let my life stand still during the grieving period, I didn’t. I started a new job with my brother and learned new job skills that would allow doors to open up to opportunities that helped my husband and myself later on. My young son was the recipient of both the good and bad decisions made during this time.

So, in wondering how to change my life style, I realize that most times, it is circumstances that changed my life style or should I just say, changed me. Health, death and even wealth will change how we go about our life, who will be in it, how we will work or, even if we will be able to work.

So C.S. Lewis says it is letting go to that allows us to move forward, but what’s forward? That is what got me thinking about changing my lifestyle. Now, it has become a process of retrospection. It’s funny, because my life has been in many ways conflicted, complicated and complex. It has been filled with intense sorrow, joy and love. I find it funny now that I should be seeking a change…seeking verve…in my life that has been fulfilling in so many ways. I have love (my husband and I have over 50 years of married life and still want to be with each other more than any one else), my son, grandchildren, sisters and brothers and friends. I can only think that I have been in a relatively calm period that I should want VERVE or excitement. Now that a new crisis has arrived, I realize how foolish I have been.Yes, I wanted to change my life style, but I wanted the changes to be good ones, not bad ones. Now I realize that bad changes come and it is how we deal with them that reveals who we are. Letting go of anger, letting go of false expectations, letting go of grieve, is the only way we can move forward. I know that it is sometimes very difficult to get back up and get back on the monkey bars to move forward and I know that it may take time for the process. It’s just that letting go is truly the way forward, or as Budda says” You can only lose what you cling to.” Now the dilemma of letting go.

Letting go of bad things, hanging on to good thing; how simple it sounds, but for most of us it is not easy at all. Through some very difficult times in my past I know only this “The LORD is my strength and my shield; My heart trusts in Him, and I am helped; Therefore my heart exults, And with my song I shall thank Him.” So if I cling, let me cling to my Lord and if I do well, let me praise Him. Now I realize that I cannot anticipate the future and should not hold on too tightly to the past, but right now, RIGHT NOW, enjoy the moment.

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