Daisies of the Soul
A friend of mine is going through a hard time. She is 20 years younger than me, which makes her 26. Today I found myself giving her advice that was probably unsolicited but I hope it helped. I wish someone would have sat me down and told me this when I was 26. (Or when I was 16!!) I hope I have conveyed this advice well to my own sons. I would have made better decisions sooner and probably taken another path if someone had given me the same encouragement. At the same time, we learn from all our experiences and “mistakes” (no “mistakes”, only lessons). So, who is to really say what we should have done (or not). I remember thinking that my choices were limited and I had to play by the rules. I stayed in places much longer than I ever should have. One day, I finally realized there are no rules. Aside from not killing people and stealing, we really aren’t obligated to do anything we don’t really want to do. This can be from staying at a job we hate to staying in a relationship that no longer honors us.
We talk a lot about doing the “right thing”. But I am a firm believer that the “right thing” can kill you. Staying in a situation where you are desperately unhappy can make you die before your time. For real. I’ve seen it happen. I saw it happen last week. I’ve had situations of my own where I knew I had to get out or move on before I got really sick. Stress is a killer. So finding joy in your life isn’t just good for your soul, it’s literally good for your health.
I told her she’s young (well, duh, but when you’re 26, you really don’t realize that you’re just 26). Her whole life is still ahead of her (while I feel I’m already half way there and at a cross roads at 46). (And I know that people in their 80’s tell me that I am a baby, it’s all relative.) She’s at a crucial time where the decisions she makes now could affect the rest of her life. She holds her future in the palm of her hand. I wish I had made better choices in my own life when I was younger. But you can’t go around thinking that way. What’s done is done. The whole “what could have been” is a total waste of energy. You have to start today, from where you are.
Maybe this is sound advice for any of us at any age. What I told her was to honor her own soul. Listen to its longings and how it pulls you. And where it pulls you. They say to us “What is meant to be, will be” but I really don’t think this is the entire truth. I think we make choices that bring about what’s meant to be. There is a certain following of the rhythms of the Universe but we also get to decide. We have intentions. And intentions and decisions are very, very powerful. We choose what we want (within some kind of reason) and we discover what we don’t want. I told her, make good choices. Honor your soul. Follow your bliss. Do what you love and be with who you love. Don’t compromise yourself, your heart, your soul or your dreams.
It’s hard sometimes to follow your own soul and your bliss without being impulsive. Sometimes we don’t know what we really want. We can’t imagine what might be best for us. I think this is why sometimes we can be complacent. We don’t act because we don’t know what direction we want to move into. We also try to please everyone else and we forget that we have only ourselves in the end. Sometimes the decisions are gut wrenching. Painful. But necessary. A really good gauge is to see how something feels inside your body. Does it physically feel good or does it give you a knot in your stomach? This is a good place to start. Does staying where you’re at make you giddy or does it make you depressed?
Surround yourself with those who love you, who build you up, who support your dreams instead of tearing them down. Be with those who will allow your light to shine without requiring that you dim it so that you don’t threaten their ego. Don’t be around those who would shred you to make themselves more whole. I hope I never see the brightness in her smile fade away. Right now there is such a light. This says so much. I hope she can hang on to it. I hope she honors her own heart. Last week, my other friend, who was just 33 years old, was buried. Life can be so short. It’s too short to not chase your dreams.
When I was really young (about 11) I found this poem. It spoke to me, it always has, but somewhere along the way, we tend to lose that spark as we get caught up in the mundane of day to day life. I need to find my spark again and I hope that my friend never loses hers.
I’d Pick More Daisies
By Nadine Stair, age 85
If I had my life to live over, I'd try to make more mistakes next time. I would relax. I would limber up. I would be sillier than I have on this trip. I would be crazier. I would be less hygienic. I would take more chances, I would take more trips. I would climb more mountains, swim more rivers, and watch more sunsets. I would burn more gasoline. I would eat more ice cream and less beans. I would have more actual troubles and fewer imaginary ones. You see, I am one of those people who lives prophylactically and sensibly and sanely, hour after hour, day after day. Oh, I have had my moments And if I had it to do over again, I'd have more of them. In fact, I'd try to have nothing else. Just moments,one after another. Instead of living so many years ahead each day. I have been one of those people who never go anywhere without a thermometer, a hot water bottle, a gargle, a raincoat, and a parachute. If I had to do it over again, I would go places and do things. I'd travel lighter than I have. If I had my life to live over, I would start barefooted earlier in the spring and stay that way later in the fall. I would play hooky more. I wouldn't make such good grades except by accident. I would ride on merry-go-rounds. I'd pick more daisies! ~Nadine Stair Kathy Lee 06/17/2013 www. Tigerlilysgarden. Com