Caught up in Causes & Crises and Avoiding the Obvious

“Don’t find fault.  Find a remedy.”   Henry Ford

It’s amazing how all of us make something out of nothing.

In fact, I believe one of the reasons the Seinfeld show has lived on in residual rerun heaven is because it is true to life on so many levels.

As Jerry Seinfeld has stated many times, the program was all about nothing.  On its surface, that’s a correct statement.

And, I’m not here questioning his mission or motives.  After all, he wrote the show and made a fortune so he would know better than anyone else.  It was his vision.

Now before I go on any further, please know this piece is not some quasi-erudite attempt at analysis of the show and explain its true meaning.  The show is what it is and that’s it.

But, there is a point to all of this.

Seinfeld was always about the “superficial something else” rather than substantive and significant concerns.  And, the show worked because it mirrored real life.  It was and still is a funny show.

And, the truth is it’s so much easier dealing with the extraneous and tangential, making them an integral component of life rather than engaging in the actual.  That takes time and could be painful.

Recently, my wife and I ran to a woman we have known for quite a while but hadn’t seen in years.

At first, I could not recall knowing her.  However, the more she talked (and she talked and talked), the more I was able to decode the reason for the memory lapse.

Call it selective brain stunting, memory repression, suppressive awareness, call it whatever you like.  But somehow, I just didn’t want to remember her.

There’s the old saying about “what the mind can conceive, the mind can achieve.”  Well, my medulla oblongata had done an outstanding job of erasing almost all mental traces of this woman.

She was a nice person.  It wasn’t the fact that she was so long-winded.  I could deal with that. It was the steadfast evidence that she was a “cause” person and everything important in her life seemed based on some impending crisis. For years, that’s been her modus operandi.

That was her whole tone of conversation.

She would tell us about her latest findings, gruesome discoveries and harrowing tales of impending disaster but we never got to know her and find out what made her tick.

After a while and by design, we would see less and less of her.  We wanted more than hearing about the latest conspiracy or catastrophe in the making.

A steady diet of gloom and doom doesn’t fit my regimen.  There’s enough problems in the world and I do my best to either avoid trouble or find a workable solution and move on.

I give props to her and to anyone else that dedicates time, money and effort to make the world a better place.

We need more of that from all of us.

I am not a psychologist but believe this person’s constant and ever-changing involvement in Causes and Crisis had more to do with personal Deflection than curing and solving universal failings and discomfort.

Let me explain.  We all need a reason for being and life today can be very challenging. “Sticking with it” and “giving it your best shot” are not only admirable qualities, they are indispensable criteria for survival.  That is a given.

What I’m referring to is living a life replete with crisis and causes absent the pursuit of solution.

We all get “hung-up” on things in life.  At times that allegiance can transform into something fixed and unwavering….until…..

…..Until, like fashion, the arbiters of agitation decree that it is now imperative to fix complete attention on the newest crisis model.

Again, this piece is not meant to discredit the worthy efforts of those who offer their support and/or devote their lives to making the world a better place for those in need.  We need more people who really care and do good works.

What I’m saying is it’s all too easy to get lost in trend than to actually take time to unearth and accept the actual you.

Years ago, my main topic was “The Surrender Solution.”  It was not about giving up.  It was about surrendering.  And, surrender is the acceptance of a new beginning.

What is obvious to others is unseen by ourselves, thus we discount the conspicuous because it appears hidden and concealed in plain sight.

That new beginning can be scary.  It’s a revelation that involves forgiveness.  Forgiving others who brought pain, sorrow and discomfort to our lives.

More importantly, it means forgiveness and acceptance of who we are, what we have or should have done  We can spend so much time in life beating up on ourselves for the smallest and most insignificant matters that happened in the past.  And, where does it get us?

Here’s the kicker: Most of the time, we are the only ones carrying the burden because the issue is long forgotten and now meaningless.  It should be dead.  It has no value, but we keep it going on our own revival circuit..

But when is enough, enough?  Isn’t it time to  hold the crucifixion, someone forgot the nails?

Hey, we are dealing with non-substance.  But when did sense enter into the equation.  We are human.  We are fallible.

Because we are not perfect, we will continue to make mistakes.  Sure, we can look back in retrospect on some really stupid things done in life.

Talk about cringe factor.  I could spend years in a corner berating myself for all the senseless and hurtful things I’ve done.  But, where does it get me?  In reality, all that is right now is a “was.”

It’s the past.  The date of expiration on the guilt-trip package came and went all so long ago.  It is not deserving of respect, attention or restoration.   It can only bring on illness and worry or worse.

I can’t change what has happened and can only learn from the experience and hopefully then move on to being a better person by forgiving myself.

Look upon it this way: Your self-appointed sentence has been commuted for time already served.

So stop trying to be what you are not.  You are no god and never will be.  We are human.

We are surrounded by artificial intelligence, holograms, CGI and avatars but, nothing takes the place of the real thing.  And, the real thing is the real you.

We are the Source of what we do in life. Now, I’m not overlooking Divine participation, but it’s up to us to choose our path and destiny.

We are over the age of 50.  Isn’t it time to get in touch with who we really are? if for no other reason than it assists in revealing and implementing solutions for so many causes and crises. It’s coming from the heart.

If there is another way, please let me know.  This is not a time for doubt and uncertainty.

Singer/Songwriter Jimmy Buffet has a very funny take on vacillation when he said. “Indecision may or may not be the problem.”  Love it.

When you get down to it, life is not a Seinfeld episode.  It’s not all about nothing. It is about something else.  That something else is getting to know yourself.

No longer are you a stranger to yourself.

Whatever it is in what you believe, whatever issues, crises and causes demand your passion and attention, they are fueled and given force by the complete you.  There is no doubt because the truth comes from your core.

Being in touch with the real you activates an inner compass that neither accepts nor tolerates deflection or self-deceit.

Being one with yourself activates the self-forgiving heart.

False Starts, Heavy Hearts

”Today will never happen again.  Don’t waste it with a false start or no start at all.”                                                                Og Mandino

You might have heard the story about the great escape artist.   This man could not be confined.  He could extricate himself from any prison, any sealed enclosure within a very short amount of time.

This man wowed the crowds the world over with his unusual talent.

One day, he received a challenge from a small town sheriff: Try and flee from his jail. To make it more interesting, the lawman said the town would pay him one million dollars if he could free himself within 20 minutes.

But, there was a caveat.  If the breakout specialist was unable to flee his incarceration within the 20 minute period, the artiste would be forced to remit one million dollars to the town.

Needless to say, he was up to the challenge.  The offer was accepted readily by the performer.

Now, there was much angst, consternation and fear coming from the town’s people in this small, poor village. If the great escape artist freed himself within the allotted time, the municipality would be on the hook for one million dollars.  That would force the town into bankruptcy.  So the agreement by the community was far from unanimous and was ushered along with much uncertainty.

The great escape artist arrives in town.  He is greeted by the locals with much fanfare and hoopla accompanied by a high degree of underlying apprehension and concern.

Then, after brief welcoming remarks, the lawman, the escape artist and the assembled crowd, walk over to the sheriff’s office.  The performer is escorted to the holding cell by the officer who then slams the door tightly shut.

It is now Showtime!

The great escape artist gets to work.  For him, this is a “no brainer” payday.

Five minutes pass and the great artist is hard at work. He has freed himself from the most escape-proof institutions all over the world.

Ten minutes into the challenge, he is showing signs of concern.

Now with only five minutes left, he is laboring furiously.

With only one minute left, the great artist is sweating profusely and can’t understand why this particular jail door is so hard to unlock.

The twenty minutes have expired.  For the first time in his career, he has lost a challenge.  He is crestfallen and he is out one million dollars.

The town folk are both shocked and relieved.

He is totally frustrated. Still imprisoned behind bars, the great escape artist asks the lawman what made this particular jail cell so escape proof.

While waiting for a response from the lawman, he leans against the cell door and, suddenly the jail door opens.  The cell gate had never been locked in the first place.

The moral of this story is don’t allow yourself to be incapacitated by pre-conceived notions.

False Starts, Broken Hearts.

These are tough times.  That’s a given.  We are over the age of 50.  By this time in our lives, there’s been a bit of soul searching and reevaluating what is really important in life. Not only that but, along the way, we have even picked up some smarts bestowed upon each and every one of us, compliments of the gracious and peachy wisdom fairy.

But, even with all this going in our favor, most of us don’t take advantage of our talents and gifts.  Why?  I’m not sure but I’ll take a stab at it: It takes time and lots of introspection.

Here’s the kicker: Recent findings show that most of us would rather inflict pain upon ourselves than endure 15 minutes of peace and quiet.

Silence, meditation, prayer; call it what you will, it’s the means of opening wisdom’s door.  But, it’s not held under lock and key.  It is there for the taking; just open the door.

In the past, I have written about my formula:  Noise + Distraction and Resistance = Scattered Potential and a World of Stress.

We can’t stand the pain of failure we are experiencing, even when it lacerates the very essence of who and what we are.  The sad truth is it’s much easier to accept, endure and prolong current suffering than to hazard another course of action. It’s easier to deal with the devil you know than………………………………….

Perhaps, it’s the dread of facing fears and dealing with our own inner contagion.

This is not religion.  But, there must be some truth to the time tested old saws about the devil in details and the road to hell being paved with good intentions.

Dismissing these alerts creates a climate of prolonged and needless torment.

But, some people don’t want to be happy. They revel in the questionable delights of disenchantment and schadenfreude. They do not want help. They are not ready for assistance.  That’s not abandonment.  It is not “writing them off.”  It’s just the truth.  Helping people who don’t want help wastes precious time that should be devoted to helping ourselves.  It’s deflection of personal responsibility.

Let me go back to an old theory of mine, “People hear what they want to hear and only hear what they need to hear when they are ready to hear what they heard.”

And, it’s so much easier to get lost in pandemonium and diversion.  That is here and now. It’s an anodyne.

On the other hand, success and accomplishment have total disregard for immediate needs. These are the bitches of serendipity.

They come and go as they please, leave no posted time of arrival or departure and convulse with laughter at our frustration with their delays and cancellations.

Thus the certainty that accompanies the temporary reprieve takes precedence over the ambiguity of the unknown.

It can be compared to the quiet before the storm or the suspenseful scene leading up to the appearance of the monster or villain.

It’s like we have been trained to distrust silence. That upsets the apple cart and places an expiration notice on the acknowledged status quo.

Perhaps, it’s the worry and agitation. They come in tandem with the false assumption that doing nothing leads to nothing; and that’s considered a waste of time.  Or, it could be we are afraid to take the time to find answers and solutions in order to experience a more productive and meaningful life.

Half-hearted measures of the past have a way of magnifying in reflection thus impeding further discovery and resolution.

It is as if we become so addicted to the endurance of pain, that it is actually easier to continue with the burden and torment we know than surmount the uncertainty of the unknown; even if it renders a more positive result and outcome.

Yes, we are over 50.  We are wiser. But it’s the implementation of that wisdom that takes a while to kick-start into motion.

We have to rise above our inner demons.

All of us have the distinct ability to make our lives a living hell.

We also have the manifest capacity to rise above our immediate circumstance and achieve what it is and where we want to be.

Yes, life is hard.  But, what choice do we have.

We brand ourselves with failure when failures, flops and fiascos are only steps on the way to success.

The journey has not ended.  So, why stop now?  Take a break.  Get into silence, prayer, meditation.  They will guide you to answers.  Don’t deride it.  Don’t dismiss it.  Don’t give up.

You’ve tried everything else.

Don’t anticipate.  When you least expect things to happen, that’s when they always do. So turn attention to other things in life.

Let it happen.

Follow through by giving yourself a break. No more false starts and heavy hearts.  The future has its own disclosure process.  You have done all you can.

Life can be similar to a boxing match. There is no fighting in-between rounds.  That’s the time to rest and regain strength.

Excuse the mixed metaphors but you have been running so far, so fast and so long that it’s time to allow opportunity to catch up with you.