Cha Cha Changes…
I can’t believe it’s the middle of June and I’m only writing about what was likely one of the biggest days of my life. This statement is filled with so much irony because over five years ago my ex-wife asked me for a divorce, and two months ago I married the woman I will spend the rest of my life with. The irony is weighing out which day was bigger? I certainly know which one was the more beautiful day and happier one for me, but I want to share why that day five years ago has had such a large impact on me. The obvious one is that I was able to meet and marry the woman I’m very much in love with today. I find it strange to write “I will spend the rest of my life” because I’ve been married before and surely thought I would spend the rest of my life with my ex-wife as well. I don’t ever remember saying it aloud however, and I certainly have never written about it. When getting married you certainly plan to spend the rest of your life with the person you’re marrying. However, that is the funny thing about planning too far in advance. Woody Allen once said that, “If you want to make God laugh, tell him about your plans.” I think this is a very true statement, and a philosophy that I’ve adopted as part of my own doctrine over the years. From around the age of fifteen I have been busy making plans, writing goals and lists of things I wish to see, accomplish and do. I would get so detailed that I’d carry a little book with me, so that I could compile these “dreams” into categories with specific dates that I wished to fulfill them. Looking back through this book, I have succeeded or achieved many of the things I wrote down years ago, some before the dates I wanted to, and some well after. Others, I read now and chuckle at how extravagant or grand they were. Not because I believe they’re unattainable, but because even if I could rub a magical lamp and summon a genie I wouldn’t wish for them now. Some things you never plan for, which was the case with my divorce. I know people change, but I find it fascinating at how much, at what rate, or in what direction we change.
Some of our biggest opportunities for change happen during our most painful experiences. I believe we have control over how we change, but not so much over the outcome of the plans we make. Yet, we consciously make plans and seldom think about how we change. It should be the other way around. I’m not saying we should never plan, as we certainly would get no where if we didn’t set goals, make plans and achieve them. I’m just saying that plans can change without any rhyme or reason and can leave you at a crossroads with multiple directions to venture down. You need to be aware of how the change in plans is changing you, or you may end up wandering down a road you would normally not have chosen. Sadly, years might pass before you ever realize you’re on the wrong road. Some people never realize the road they are on is not for them. They meander aimlessly down the road dodging whatever life decides to throw at them. I would exercise caution if this is you because as the saying goes, “If you don’t have a plan for your life, someone else does.” I am writing today to tell you that you must make a conscious effort and fight to be present at those times where your plans surprisingly change. It’s very easy to focus on how a plan failed, and consequently, blindly embark upon the wrong road. Is the path you’re on a positive one? Are you headed in a direction you truly wish to follow? Perhaps it’s not, and is full of negativity sending you spinning on a merry-go-round of emotional uncertainty. If you consciously ask these questions, it is less likely that you’ll fall into a pattern of uncertainty and wind up somewhere you’re not happy with.
When my plans failed because my ex-wife decided she wanted a divorce, I broke down and couldn’t believe what was happening. I immediately spiraled into a pattern of uncertainty and confusion. There was nothing I could do to change her mind, and there was nothing I was doing that would help me understand my confusion. I continuously relived a pattern of blame, self-pity and uncertainty. I went round and round with these emotions and only opened my ears to anything that confirmed the pattern I was on. Absolutely, I was hurt! I could write a book on hurt feelings and anger, but now is not the time, or the purpose of this blog. What I want people to understand is that it wasn’t until I started asking the right questions that I was able to change the direction I was on. Questions such as, what am I looking for, where do I want to be, how can I be better than I was before, and what am I doing right now that will help me move in the direction of the answers to the previous questions? How has failing at my plan of a life-long marriage changed me?” Is it in a positive manner, or negative? Once I began focusing on answers to these questions, I was able to break the pattern I was in and quickly realize where I was changing negatively. Furthermore, I was able to recognize past patterns that were disabling me from obtaining what I truly was looking for. All this lead me to a different city, a different job, and meeting the woman I married on April 12th. My failed plan turned out to not have been a failure at all, but instead a blessing that corrected the path I was on and took me in a new direction. A direction I should’ve recognized years before.
Today I still don’t have answers to many of the questions I had five years ago, and truthfully I don’t need them. Sure, I have my own opinions, can speculate, assume or take responsibility for things I was or wasn’t, but it really doesn’t matter. They’re irrelevant to the direction I want to live my life and to the person I want to be. What I am, is grateful that I was able to recognize the negative pattern and use it to propel myself in another direction. It’s a change that I’m very proud of and extremely happy to have found. I feel it may have been a lonely road had I not been able to recognize this. If my words inspire someone else to stop and ask the right questions or break the negative pattern they might be on, then I am even happier. The purpose of this blog is a cathartic one, but if it helps someone else break their negativity then I encourage them to do so.
It’s a funny thing that when I set out to write today, I wanted to write about my wedding day. However, as by now you’re well aware that I needed to share a few things first. Now that I have done so, I look forward to my next blog which will focus solely on the day of April 12th.
The power of hindsight, “what you thought was failure was not failure at all, but allowed you to correct the path” Awesome! Thanks for reminding us everything happens for a reason!