The book shows how each of us has more than one life, right here on earth. Following each big event, a birth or death, hardship or trauma in our lives, there emerges a new life, different from the one before it. We are never able to go back to the former life, simply because things are no longer as they were and never will be.
The word BEFORE is the key word. We can't get back what came BEFORE what happened. Whether it's getting a spouse, having a baby, or losing a dear one. Life is never like it was before. And, do we want it to be? That is the big question.
Twenty years ago I would have said, yes, I want to go back to how it was before. But, now at 64, I don't think that way. Life has shown me that there is a plan woven into us somehow, that dictates all the hardships in order for us to gain the strength to go forward and understand the divine intricacies of life. I don't say we ever can fully understand, but I mean we can understand the purposes for some things and we can see why they happen. Life is played out....at the very end, each detail having been necessary for the picture to be complete.
Rather than interfere with other lives, and try to make things better for someone else, I know now the best thing to do is to let everyone make their own mistakes. That's the only way to learn the ins-and-outs to existence. Some people tend to insert their nasal passages into situations they do not belong, and that only exacerbates the situation. Life has got to play itself out according to our individual actions. If I do something stupid, well, then I'm going to have to deal with the results of my stupidity. Plain and simple. And, if someone interferes with my stupid actions, then my problem only gets more snarly and complex.
I've come to maintain that I want to live the remainder of my life "flying under the radar." I don't embroil myself in any type of organization or commit myself to obligations that will rile my peaceful heart. I spent my entire life in an arena that held its pitfalls and fears, high expectations, and demands, but I managed to delicately and obediently stay on track, and it's only because of my tending to my own business that I am where I'm at right now. I didn't let the BEFORES stain my life. Rather, I took hold of the AFTERS, knowing full well they would be short-lived as well. Life is a basket of befores and afters. We can easily get buried in the thought that life as it is right now really stinks and it always will. Au contraire. Life will change, at any moment and send the current situation into the BEFORE category, and a new life will begin.
Some days I feel philosophical. Some days I like to think serious thoughts and engage my brain in sophisticated thoughts. My self-acquired exposure to the psychologies of life has given me a yen for learning about individual characteristics in people. Why do they do what they do? Sometimes my brain spars with itself, wondering why the heck people hurt one another like they do, whether it's through words or actions. I find it fascinating when I can identify, to the best of my ability, and come to understand where the quirks come from. That's the only way to deal with behaviors that are not only annoying, but actually can be destructive. Knowing that we all are living with BEFORES and AFTERS helps one to gain respect and perhaps even admiration for how people deal with life. The situations we are recklessly tossed into are not always bad for us, even though it sure feels bad to us. There's always a far-into-the-future reason for everything, and we won't know what that reason is until we reach it's time for the answer to be revealed. That's been my experience, and that's why I can tell those dear ones following in the next generation not to get down and out and quit. Never ever quit. Just like me reading the book "Jewel." At one point I wanted to quit reading it, but I knew I had to plug through those heart-breaking pages that were bringing tears to my eyes and making me sadder than I liked. However, when I met that last sentence on the last page, I knew that I had been enlightened for having read and completed the book. And, that's just a teeny-weeny example of forging ahead and never quitting.
So it is that we have a rainy morning where I live. We have our floor lamps lit at 8:30 in the morning, and that makes our home feel even cozier than usual. Little fuzzy one is close beside my leg in the snuggler, and daddy is reading the morning paper. Coffee cups close by. We don't know what the day holds in store for us, but we have lived long enough and through enough to know that no matter what it is.....we can deal with it. We'll walk through the fire knowing that there will be an AFTER. Sometimes the AFTER is a whole lot better than the BEFORE......if we just let it be that way!
Today's Trivia: The human heart beats roughly 35 million times a year.