When You’re Feeling Lost

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I was remembering something that happened a few years ago during our visit to Italy. I remember looking at things to do there and one particular town caught my eye. It was quaint and beautiful, everything I imagined a small town in Italy to be. I remember the frustration over buying our ticket and trying to figure out which platform was the one to board our train. Finally, we were in our seats and the sound of us rolling down the tracks put me right to sleep. We had been going non stop and we had to catch a few zzz’s whenever the schedule allowed.The problem was, my husband fell asleep too so now we had an 11 and 8 year old navigating for us. My daughter eventually woke us up to let us know we had reached our stop and we exited the train. It only took a moment to realize we were in the wrong place. Where were the rolling hills? This place was as flat as a pancake and the whole town seemed abandoned. Luckily there was a McDonalds but we quickly realized no one spoke a word of English. When we said the name of the town, the workers pointed to the right and made a walking motion with their fingers while shaking their head no. We knew now it was too far to walk. We went outside and saw a bus stop and stood there hoping we would figure out what to do. The man there knew we were visitors and pointed to a small shop across the street. My husband went to check it out and came back with four bus tokens. Everytime the train would stop, the man would shake his head no until finally I recognized the town from the pictures and he pointed for us to get off.

The lesson is similar to the one I posted yesterday. There will be times we find ourselves lost in a place we don’t want to be. We may feel scared and panicked and our instinct may be to run as fast as we can. Running in the wrong direction won’t get us anywhere. We must be patient and calm and find a solution despite how uncomfortable we may feel. When we are quiet and settle in, the answers will come. Everything we need will be right there to get us from point A to point B. We just have to believe.    

Derailed

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I woke up hearing a muffled angry voice in my kitchen. I know that voice well. I know the tone, and the frustration behind the words. I know the guilt that comes after saying something you wish you hadn’t.

We want to be kind. We want to be happy. We want to love others. We set out with the most noble intentions but the truth is people get on our
nerves. We are all like trains. We ride happily along the track that suits us best and then suddenly our trains collide. In a single moment, that joyous whistle turns into a nauseating screech. We can’t move along the same track at the same time. When we do, there can only be one driver. Who will drive? Now there’s one train and two drivers, can that ever work? That’s what it comes down to really. We all want to drive and that’s okay, but do we really have the right to drive someone else’s train? Do we really have the right to tell people the way they should do something or dictate to them the way they should act? Even when it comes to parenting, it’s hard to let our kids be who they are. We want to be respected yes, but there is a fine line in controlling and parenting. If we have one idea about how the morning should play out, while our child has an entirely different idea, smack! Our trains collide. It’s a tough act trying to balance our expectations with the reality of people’s behavior. How do we let that go some? How do we reach a place of peace? How do we stop feeling so angry? How do we stop wrestling over who will take control of the train?

Anger brings everyone down. We take turns in our house depending on the time of day. We dump our crap and frustration on everyone else and then the whole house starts to stink. The aggravation seeps into everyone’s blood until it feels like a healthy thing. It’s not healthy. It doesn’t feel good and eventually it gets so toxic that we feel the need to escape. Where will we go when it’s running through our veins? We like to believe that it’s everyone else that makes us feel this way but the truth is it has become part of who we are. It is inside the very fiber of our being and we have to do something to flush it out. No one wants to be angry. No-one wants to be the recipient of someone’s angry tone. We have to do better.

Life Is Full of Red Lights

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I took Kayleigh to religious education class today. I swear I hit every single red light and ran into two trains. I guess the lesson is this. Life isn’t always going to flow along at my time pace. The way I see it, I have two choices. I can get aggravated at each delay or I can somehow find the humor in it and realize the day will just be full of them. Today, I chose to find the humor. Regardless what I decided, it wouldn’t change the fact that I would be stuck at every opportunity that arrived. Why fight or get mad over the things we just cannot control or change? Sometimes we are tested. Sometimes we pass, sometimes we fail. I guess only we can decide to float with the current or swim against it. I think, at least for today, I will float along.

Can You Hear The Train?

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I remember moving to a town in Texas years ago. There were train tracks not far from the house, and every night I would lay quietly still and listen for the train whistle to make its sound. At first, I noticed it all the time. It became familiar and something I looked forward to from day to day. After a few years, I didn’t notice it anymore. I had two young kids, I was sleep deprived and life became so busy I became distracted. It wasn’t until my son was about three years old that he became fascinated with trains. He used to randomly sneak up behind me and at the top of his lungs sound his whistle and scare me half to death. “Woot! Woot!” His favorite phrase.

My little boy is growing up quickly now. He doesn’t have time to play with trains but once in awhile he will set up his Polar Express and watch her roll around the tracks. Today, I heard the whistle for the first time in a long time. I have been too caught up in my thoughts and distractions to notice it the last couple of weeks. Maybe this is a sign that I am waking up from a dreaded nap that lasted way too long. Maybe this is a sign that I have escaped the dark cloud that has cast a shadow over my path and now I will once again feel the warmth of the sun. Ebb and flow. Push and pull. The constant struggle between getting it right. The good news is what goes up must come back down, and what’s been down, must come back up. So, there is hope that I am starting to swim back to the surface where I have a better view of what lies both below and what waits above me. Both views are beautiful, as long as you do not become stuck in the wrong place of one or another. But to lie there on the surface brings clarity and peace and a new perspective that looks more pleasant and promising than the one I had before. How is your view right now and do you know you have the power to change what you see? Find the place that feels good and rest there awhile and eventually with a little bit of patience, you will find the right place you are meant to be.

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