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Sunday, April 5, 2009

Why Are You Here

April 5, 2009

Tomorrow is my 43rd birthday and my Mom called to remind me of my character flaws for the 43rd year in a row (just kidding ma…sort of)! So she spoke about how I need to budget my money better and how I remain afflicted with…poor impulse control. And after the reminders, I felt it was my annual duty to once again analyze myself, where I’ve been, and choices I’ve made. As my mind wandered through all the junk in my memory, I found the category labeled “people.” I opened the imaginary file and saw faces….faces of everyone who has come in and out of my life. Why were they there? Why were these people in my life? And then the dim light that had been fading finally grew brighter. People come to us to help… to help us learn about ourselves. If we don’t pay attention to this, we miss golden opportunities to grow. My officemate is this wonderful colleague who gives me reason. She is the one who reminded me people come to us for purpose. She and I worked together many years ago, moved on, and have recently reunited in a different capacity. I have a thankful tear in my eye. And I owe a big thank you to my officemate (who wouldn’t want me to write her name!) because she is my voice of reason. She has saved my ass over and over at work, preventing me from displaying my poor impulse control. When my affect takes over, and I start decompensating into a “well I’ll tell them what I think” mentality, she stops me, and reminds me of the consequences of that attitude. We are all afflicted with less than optimal coping skills. But if we look around at the people touching us, we can overcome our weaknesses by listening to them. By watching how they deal with things. Even the people who have passed through us for just a moment…deeply dig and you’ll find that they served you in some way. I have a successful career, and it’s partly due to my officemate.
But what about my poor impulse control. I kind of like that part of me (my Mom is cringing now!). I tend to jump into things and take risks. I embrace it! It has led me down many life paths that my wise mind would not have approved of! I have had relationships and jobs that have rewarded me with insight and self-reflection, and that has been invaluable in my quest for the meaning of life. So what are we to do? Do what others tell us or follow our own instincts? I guess a little of both. Don’t lose yourself in others recommendations, but don’t blindly fly to the stars without thoughtful input. Listen to the people in your life and listen to your gut…they are both right.