A couple of comedians recently provided inspiration to me. Inspiration about the journey of life and how we spend our time. Adam Sandler came into my life a while back and so did Eddie Murphy. I was facing some scary health issues and felt every range of emotion, including guilt for burdening others with my pain and possible exodus from this place. Every now and then, we have the opportunity to be different, to learn, to change, and to grow. We can choose to act on these opportunities or remain the same, unchanged, and live life like the Groundhog Day movie. Doing the same thing, day in, and day out….remaining frustrated with ourselves and others around us.
This wasn’t one of those times for me. This time I was listening, standing still, looking at life from a distanced perspective, void of the material world, just observing. At church, our pastor asked us to stand if we had health issues. My first inclination was to stand alone. I felt that my health was my issue and no one needed to own my health except me. But my husband stood up with me. I had a choice at that time to feel my independence and remain alone in my suffering or recognize that we suffer together. God had provided so much to me and so easily, I realized that his provision has been outside of my own doing and my deserving. I was receiving love and support. Sometimes, even despite myself, I am given what I need.
In an older time, I would have felt some discomfort in having someone stand with me. In an older time, I was used to standing on my own. Being “my own person” and mistakenly pushing away love, intimacy, and support that I needed. How odd? To push away something we need, because of an impression or belief. Being too independent has its downsides and feeling supported is one of them. I could clearly feel the need to not be alone in this scary time, so this time I embraced the love and support wholeheartedly.
Back to my comedian friends….Adam Sandler stars in “Click”, as a workaholic success. The movie is light-hearted, but still provides a direct message about being too busy, too controlling, too self-absorbed in success, and disconnected from meaningful relationships. With a click of his remote control, he can fast forward to anywhere he would like to be, but life moved too quickly in that scenario. Adam Sandler brought tears to my eyes when he rewinds to a scene with his father. Adam is sitting in his office, too obsessed with his laptop to even notice his aging father. His father stops to say, “I love you son.” Oh, that water works were flowing then! More for Adam, because he would keep watching this moment he missed years prior. He missed his opportunity to be different, to see himself, his actions, and his father. “10,000 words” stars Eddie Murphy, who plays a similar role, but he’s more of a crass, executive who has no filter when he speaks to anyone. He becomes unable to continue speaking when a tree is planted in his backyard that has only 10,000 leaves. Each leaf dropping with every word he speaks. Once the leaves are gone, so is Eddie.
Are there times in your life that you learn, see, and realize that you could be and feel differently but choose the same old way? Is it more comfortable? Is it part of your pride? Is it too scary to be different around people you love? What about around people you don’t know? How does your fear hold you back?
I am relieved, happy, and filled with gratitude to say that I am currently clear of health issues. What I learned from the few months of biopsies and scopes is that we only have a small window each day to learn, outside of our hectic lives. If we ignore issues now, they only grow larger over time. They do not improve if they are ignored. If I can change myself, my perspective, then I can see my relationships differently, with a larger perspective, and I can receive what I need or learn what I can provide. Marriage and family relationships are hard work. We don’t get to have a remote control to rewind or reset the things in life we don’t like or that cause pain. We don’t get a remote control that fast forwards us to where we wish we could be. Our words and actions inlfuence our ability to love and be loved. Be present, in the moment, and accept who and where we are right now. To be quiet, to sit still, to absorb, to understand, and to know is to learn. You don’t get to rewind, there is time, to learn, to connect, to grown and change.