I’m talking to two of my young cousins who are really super people, solid parents, good marriages, and the best friends one could have. We have a great relationship as family and girlfriends. Here we are talking about how much sweeter life might have been had we listened.
As they talk, I think to myself: Would their lives have been different if they had listened to everything they were told? Perhaps — or would they have ended up in the same place? How different would they be if they had done all they were told?
In their own words they are saying, “Here I am now.” I can hear my parents saying, “What are you going to do? You do know that school is really important. If you don’t plan your life, life will happen. And you know what it did…it has…all of that…life is here…”
Why didn’t I listen?
I thought they were trying to control me. My mom tried to set up a banking account for me when I was young, and if I found a quarter I would take it and go buy a cookie. Relationships — that’s a big one. She was all in my business. Who are you going with? Where do they live? Do I know the parents? Sickening!
What was this — a controlled environment and life? Yuck! They wanted to make my life miserable. Little did I know they wanted to prepare me to have a good life.
Relationships — my first love. He was the real thing — or so I thought. It didn’t last. All of the reasons why are not so clear.
In retrospect, I realize it was more physical and emotional. Love is one of those things where “like” can be so powerful when you are young. Like is not love. There you are, heart throbbing because he looks good, smells good, and makes you swoon — and says such sweet stuff. Yep, I went down that road. Why didn’t I listen?
Money and relationships are only two of a long list of things I didn’t listen to. Over the years, I found myself making mistake after mistake — lefts when I should have gone right, up when I should have stayed down…a hot mess!! Why didn’t I listen?
Would it have helped to have an outside person to reason with me? Would reinforcement have made a difference?
After listening to my cousins, I did my own reflection and asked myself, “Why didn’t I listen? It took too long for me to acknowledge the fact that my parents were smarter than I was. Admitting that was part of my journey. Each day I live I think of what I have learned from the mistakes and successes of my life. I have learned to listen to me.
Taking the time to plan is so critical. It’s a continuous part of my journey. I listen to all of me, plan, assess and act accordingly. Knowing that, I listen to my spirit, pay attention to my heart, and live with a thirst for learning.
Listening to the great concert of life (creation, stars, moon, sunshine and rain, flowers in the field and plants as they grow, birds in the sky and beasts of the field) is where I reside as I am blessed to be alive and to LISTEN.
Every day is a do-over. What will you do over?
Bob-e Simpson Epps has spent 40+ years leaning into life’s issues personally and professionally. She shares a revival of spirit, great hope and passion with others who have faced many of the same issues. She welcomes reader responses to firstname.lastname@example.org, or visit her blog at http://ms bobe.wordpress.com.