STUBBORN TO THE POINT OF BEING STUPID
The sun rose slowly through Mesa Arch in Canyon Lands National Park. I’d never been there before but I heard that it was magnificent. The low light reflected off of the canyon walls and turned the mesa a golden hue. I felt alive; I felt a spiritual connection……..one that I experience often when I’m outdoors. I felt that I was on the right path. I do some of my best thinking out wondering around in the vast openness all by myself. It gives me an opportunity to escape from all of the distractions, all of the meaningless noise. It gives me an opportunity to connect with something larger than myself, remembering who I am. Remembering that I have a higher purpose.
On that day I learned something valuable. Still struggling with my personal challenges, I felt calm and at peace. I felt a gentle hand leading the way. The question popped into my head in a light-hearted, slightly sarcastic tone, “Are you stubborn to the point of being stupid?” Taking in a deep breath of the sweet mountain air in that beautiful place, I was being nudged to be objectively introspective. The answer was resoundingly, yes. I was holding on to the past; How things were, how it was my fault, how I was a failure………BLAH, BLAH, BLAH, the list goes on and on. What I wasn’t doing was making the choice to focus on the future an all of the possibilities it holds. Self-pity does that to a person. It saps the ability to look forward with hope and joy and forces us to wallow in the misery of the moment. Don’t get me wrong; I love to feel bad for myself just as much as the next guy. I play a great victim, but there comes a time when we all have to put our big boy pants on and start living the life we are meant to live. One without regret, one with purpose and joy, filled with the determination to live life to its fullest, cherishing the wonders of life’s beauty and learning valuable lessons from past challenges. It all comes down to choice, as it should. All things are determined by the choices we make. We are awash on the sea of life and our ability to navigate amid life’s numerous complexities is determined by what we choose to do at this very moment and all of the moments that are ahead. I was choosing to hold on to the past so stubbornly that I wasn’t willing to see the path of my potential future. I was stubborn to the point of being stupid.
Life is the culmination of the choices we make. Every choice has a ripple affect; some large and some small but they’re there none the less. One key to a happy, fulfilling life is to let go of what we can’t control and choose to enjoy the ride. Robert Brault said, “The definition of an optimist is someone who isn’t sure whether life is a tragedy or a comedy but is tickled silly just to be in the play.” To go one step further, whether life is a tragedy or a comedy is determined by what we choose it to be. It’s determined by perspective.
Its spring now and life is doing what it was pre-determined to do. The snow has melted and the world is awakening from a long winter’s slumber. Spring flowers are in bloom, birds can be heard whistling their soft melodies and the fields and corrals of farms are filled with newborn calves and colts as they learn to stand on their own. Life for them is as it should be, its simple. Why do the flowers bloom? Because the must. Why do the birds sing? Because they can. However, for many of us, we choose to focus on the bad and not recognize the many wonderful blessings and gifts that we have been given. Why? Because we choose to! Let it go, life is filled with unlimited joy and opportunity we just have to reach out and pluck it……..the tree is in bloom.