Monday, February 18, 2013

Why aren't you like _____ ?

Does this make you laugh? Cringe? Stop listening? Want to rant?

In my last post, I asked for feedback.  On another site, too.  Yes, my psyche has grown stiff, resistant to change.  My heart has scars I need to grow beyond.  Thank you, one and all, for writing me to support and encourage me.  I'm learning to be pliable and resilient, and your hugs help so much.

I've also heard from the well meaning folks who can't resist instructing and comparing me with so and so, who is having a better experience of widowhood, or is experiencing new love after widowhood more completely.  I roll my eyes.  *"Gee,  what an idiot I've been!  I guess God isn't very impressed with me, and wishes He (or She) could have made me more like that person you just pointed out. Gosh, I'm going to learn to be like her!"

*Please note: sarcasm

Yes, I got the memo that I'm loved just the way I am.  I am exactly where I'm supposed to be, on this river of life, with all its rocks, and waterfalls, its smooth sandy bottoms and pools, its forks and dams, its frozen waters and fluid flow.   Now, my challenge is to love the folks who wish I'd see things some other way as well as the folks who give me a vote of confidence.      

Oh, dear.  I, too, have been so guilty to trying to change people.  My pet peeve?  Pessimism.  I get so frustrated by pessimism and want to drum it out of people.  I want to shake them.   "Wake up and smell the roses!" "Look on the bright side!"
Now that I've discovered my own little streak of pessimism, I'm rather happy I can give up this job of cheering others up, because I know better.  Or I know somebody who knows.  Or I know somebody who knows somebody who knows.   Or I know somebody who knows somebody who knows somebody who knows.

It's about time I read this poem again.

Go placidly amid the noise and haste, and remember what peace there may be in silence.
As far as possible without surrender be on good terms with all persons.
Speak your truth quietly and clearly; and listen to others, even the dull and ignorant; they too have their story.
Avoid loud and aggressive persons, they are vexations to the spirit.
If you compare yourself with others, you may become vain and bitter;
for always there will be greater and lesser persons than yourself.

Enjoy your achievements as well as your plans.
Keep interested in your career, however humble; it is a real possession in the changing fortunes of time.
Exercise caution in your business affairs; for the world is full of trickery.
But let this not blind you to what virtue there is; many persons strive for high ideals;
and everywhere life is full of heroism.

Be yourself.
Especially, do not feign affection.
Neither be critical about love; for in the face of all aridity and disenchantment it is as perennial as the grass.

Take kindly the counsel of the years, gracefully surrendering the things of youth.
Nurture strength of spirit to shield you in sudden misfortune. But do not distress yourself with imaginings.
Many fears are born of fatigue and loneliness. Beyond a wholesome discipline, be gentle with yourself.

You are a child of the universe, no less than the trees and the stars;
you have a right to be here.
And whether or not it is clear to you, no doubt the universe is unfolding as it should.

Therefore be at peace with God, whatever you conceive Him to be,
and whatever your labors and aspirations, in the noisy confusion of life keep peace with your soul.
With all its sham, drudgery and broken dreams, it is still a beautiful world. Be careful. Strive to be happy.

© Max Ehrmann 1927

Well, I hope this day is good for me, and good for you, and good for somebody you know, and somebody who knows somebody you know, and somebody who knows somebody who knows somebody you know.


  1. Love the poem and the line: "You are a child of the universe, no less than the trees and the stars." Thank you so much for sharing it.

  2. You're welcome, Jean. Today I needed to hear its message, too.