Sunday, March 06, 2005

Life Makes More Sense In Reverse

I've been thinking a lot lately about my life for the past 6 years or so....people I've known, things I've tried, times I've been embarrassed, proud, ashamed, excited, frustrated and happy. I've been trying to put it all into some kind of context in my mind. I think that until I got married 2 months ago, that was a really hard thing to do for some reason. I can see now the purpose for a lot of the things that I experienced. I can see how I have changed and matured and grown and generally become a better person in that time. That feels good. I can also see the lingering character flaws and weaknesses, the holes in my armor as it were. I guess we all have them.

I love my wife and almost every day that we are married, she does something or says something that makes me realize how right it was for me to marry easy a decision it was for me to propose to her after only knowing her for a month. She is a person that makes me want to be better than I am. I am a lucky man.

I guess the point of this post is this: almost all of my experiences for the last six years led me eventually to the best decision I've ever made (i.e. my wife), even though along the road sometimes, it was really hard for me to see the purpose of a lot of my decisions and frustrations. Much of that time, I felt like I was spinning my wheels and I worried that I was headed in the wrong direction or at least not in the right direction. A lot of the time, my faith waivered as to whether or not my life would go where I wanted it to go. I can't really blame myself for feeling that at the time, but I can say now that my past makes a lot more sense to me, now that I see where it led me. I guess it is the wisdom and courage that I aquired along the way that made that understanding possible.

Good Night!

Tuesday, March 01, 2005

Recently Married And Learning Fast

I have been married for 2 months and a day now. I have to say that I love it. The girl that I married is so GOOD. I mean by that that she is SO pure and genuine and true. That goodness and purity inspires my love and respect for her. It also makes me uncomfortable because my shortcomings seem just a little more obvious to me around her. That idea is somewhat cliche I realize, but in my case the cliche has proven true.

We had a larger-than-usual tiff yesterday that had been building for a few days. For a while, we seemed hopelessly at odds. The annoying part was that most of the discord from both of us didn't actually come from the original disagreement, but from the fact that we were frustrated with each other about it. She might disagree with that analysis, but that is how I felt. Amazingly, we both eventually realized that we really didn't want to be mad at each other at about the same time and that made resolving the problem rather easy. And boy did we resolve it! :-)

The thing that stunned me about myself as our "fight" was progressing is that I wasn't really trying to resolve our negative feelings for each other. Instead, I was trying to defend to myself and to my wife that my position on the issue at hand was logical and more or less correct. How stupid is that! I wasn't being honest with myself about the conflict. Instead, I was just trying to vindicate the feelings that I had, so that I could maintain a lie to myself about my true intentions.

Honesty with oneself is so elusive but so liberating. I'm realizing that a majority of my actions and thoughts throughout the day are either totally or partially "dishonest" because they attempt to justify and rationalize instead of to understand, clarify and correct.

If you haven't already, read "The Bonds That Make Us Free" by Terry Warner. Those ideas that I just expressed are his. I want my life's intentions to be transparent to others as well as to myself.

So the point of this post is that, marriage is helping me to understand what true honesty to myself and others is all about. I thought I understood that before, but as I analyze my actions, I see that I can't always trust myself to tell the truth to myself. I think that realization will prove to be an important one for me personally and for our marriage.

What "Nothing But Possibilites" Means To Me

The idea is this: The life ahead of me is full of literally endless possibilities...that is simple and inspiring. However, if I don't make some of them actually materialize into realities, then these possibilities will remain nothing more than possibilites in the past...that sobers me.

Over the last year, I have written this poem. I know it is not a literary masterpiece, but I have been amazed at how much a simple little poem has affected me and taught me about myself. I have never really shown it to anyone before (not even my new wife of 2 months). It is about my struggle over the past few years of my life to be my best self and my gut-feeling that the future holds great things for all of us, realizing that greatness depends entirely on who we become in our heart of hearts.

Nothing But Possibilities

It's a weight that won't retire
It blisters your heart like a fire
Conquering will and desire
It itches, it scrapes and it burns
How could you let it invade you?
How could you let it control you?
How could you let it defeat you?
Something so evil, so wrong, so pathetic

You choose the tracks you tread
You say the things you've said
You feed the thoughts you've fed
So much responsibility

You chose to face the sun
You did the things you've done
Because you're the only one
Nothing but possibilities

Inside your weak mind again
Attacking you from within
But promptings not to give in
To fight off the enemy of your soul
Who will win this duel for your allegiance and obedience?
Who will conquer you deepest passions?
How will the fight end this time?
The foe waits at the edge of the battlefield for his moment

Coming to terms with the past
Calling for help, holding fast
Hoping your patience and strength will last
So much responsibility

Trusting your future is bright
Sensing an end to your plight
Knowing that God's path is right
Nothing but endless possibilities

Your fences alone will not hold
They'll crumble, defenses will fold
Your enemy's undyingly bold
You must build high walls of brick and stone
What is it that you protect from his hatred?
Why is it you fight off his onslaught?
How will you repel his deceipt and anger?
Your armor must be your God

In battle for life now you meet
Victory as yet incomplete
But there it awaits at your feet
So much responsibility

Only you can fight off his blows
With the strength that heaven bestows
You know what no one else knows
Nothing but endless, eternal possibilities

See what's up on the road ahead
Get out of your warm and comfortable bed
Quit shaking , conquer instead
It's now or never, claim your happiness
Who else can feel what you feel?
Who else can see what you see?
Who else can know what you know?
You are an extraordinary person

It's time now you seized your fate
It's time now before it's too late
Because only you will make you great
So much responsibility

Please do not delay your task
You need not fear your past
Lose your costume and your mask
Nothing but endless, eternal, never-ending possibilities

Like I said above, I know it is not a polished piece of poetry, but it represents a powerful personal experience and feeling for me and I'm glad I shared it with you. Thank you for reading it and appreciating it.