My friend Roseann has said for years that it’s the little things, like sharing dinner at the table with her husband, Mike, that make her life rich.
This view of life never resonated with me. For 14 years, I ate by myself on the couch while we each “did our own thing.”
I became the queen of the grand gesture.
The trip to Normandy…the lavish birthday parties…the Tag Heuer watch.
To me, it was a “go big or go home” approach to life. Little? Ha! That’s for losers.
Now that I look through the lens of lessons learned, I see that my grand gestures were desperate attempts to bring meaning and satisfaction to a life lacking in what mattered most.
Tenderness. Connection. Laughter.
My grand (and expensive) strokes were also my stabs and finally doing the great, big thing that would make my life WORK.
Do you remember when old cars took some work to “turn over” on a cold winter morning? You’d turn the key and pump the gas; the car gasping for life…
…yes, that’s how I see many of the years in my rear view window.
This is not a post about regret, however! No, no, no! This is a post about finally seeing the light!
It’s about really and truly and finally understanding that no external thing could fix something wrong on the INSIDE.
That no grand or lavish gesture can evoke love that isn’t there already. And that nothing you do can make other people happy if they choose to be miserable.
And most of all, if you are not happy, no one else and nothing else can make your motor run.
Finding peace within my heart and falling in love with ME has changed everything.
I beat this drum with everyone now, and I’m sure it is a bit annoying.
But can you really say that you’ve settled into a full-blown love affair with yourself?
Can you boldly say, “I’m wonderful!”
When you think of yourself, is it with the tenderness that you would offer an innocent baby?
This seismic shift changed everything for me. It took a trek to Costa Rica and a visit with a shaman to get there, but man was it worth the journey.
Now friends, you don’t have to go to Costa Rica or take a psycho-spiritual journey to get there, but whatever it takes, please get there!
Oh please forgive yourself! Oh please stop regretting the past! Oh please…because life is too short to put a band-aid on and we were never meant to be the walking wounded.
How tragic to get to the end of our days (and gee, we don’t know if that will be TOMORROW!) and consider that we wasted it all being unhappy and that unhappiness served NO purpose.
And how tragic to numb ourselves or empty our bank accounts in the attempt to compensate for a broken heart we never forgave.
Last weekend, I had the pleasure of picking up Shasta for a play date. Mark and I wandered around until we ran into an arts and crafts festival. We meandered hand in hand. I bought a cheap anklet, we sampled kettle corn and Shasta was loved on by every passerby.
And I said to myself, “What a wonderful world.”
Louie Armstrong, I get it! Roseann, I get it!
In a lifetime of talk about having an expansive life, I realize just how BIG little is.
Now, don’t get me wrong. I LOVE sniffing the air at any Ritz-Carlton. I plan to visit Greece and publish a few books. And birthdays? Puh-leeze! I love an excuse to party plan!
But those things will all be the icing on a cake that is sweet already. And I wish the same for you, too.
Here are my closing thoughts on EXPANSIVENESS and a brand-new, never before received Word of the Weeks!
It’s a week to speak up! (And to listen…)
May these last two weeks of February bring riches to your heart.
Love, love, love –