Albert Einstein said, “The definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results.” Oh my goodness, is it really that simple? During my life I keep dating—and twice marrying—men that I really did not know all that well. I was not patient enough to confirm that our love could stand the tests of life and time; still, I was astonished when those relationships did not bring the fulfillment and happiness for which I hoped. Duh! It is for this reason that I have decided to have a love affair with myself. After decades of self-doubt, self-loathing, and self-denial, I have made the conscious decision to love myself—warts and all! Everything comes full circle if we stay on the merry-go-round of life long enough. Every so often something will occur in my life that causes me to zoom back in memory and make a connection to a previous event. I just wrote, “I have made the conscious decision to love myself—warts and all!” When I was about 9-years-old, I had a horrific case of warts on my hands. I kid you not, I had about 20-30 seed warts on each hand. It was disgusting! Children made fun of me, saying that I must have touched frogs, and adults made hurtful remarks. My mom put Vicks vapor rub all over my hands and had me wear white gloves to bed. It didn’t work. Then she took a penny, had a spell put on it by some soothsayer, and sewed it inside my clothing. This charm was supposed to rid me of this evil curse. It didn’t. She went to the drugstore and bought some over-the-counter cream that would surely make the warts vanish. It didn’t work either. Finally, she took me to a dermatologist who used dry ice to freeze my warts. I had so many growths that he had to do one hand on the first visit and then the other hand a couple of weeks later. The doctor—or time—eventually ridded me of this nasty virus. I haven’t had a wart on my hands since that time; but, I believe I still carry the emotional scars of feeling plagued by those warts. It is very hard to cover up hands. Perhaps, a few decades ago, I could have just made a habit of wearing gloves; but, presently, our hands are exposed for the entire world to see.
How many of us have “warts” we wish we could hide from public view? But cloaks and magic potions will not cure our faults. Recently, I heard Jane Fonda say that it took her almost 70 years to discover that we are not meant to be “perfect”—but rather “whole.” Wow…imagine life if our goal was to become a whole holy being—one with self, God, and others—embracing our reality and conquering our faults. This sort of life journey would not be so full of regret, because we would view everything as bringing us closer to wholeness. My wise 30 something-year-old son, Tyler, always corrects me if I start a sentence with, “If only I had…” or “If only I had not….” His motto: everything happens for a reason. I might add to that phrase: and that reason is alright. If I had not married my two husbands, I would not have my amazing children. If I did not have my children, I certainly would not have my awesome grandchildren. If I had left Upstate New York sooner, I would not have met and later fostered a new son into our family. If I had not left Upstate when I did, I would not have discovered my wonderful new doctors that unearthed my heart issues. Son, you are indeed wise: everything happens for a reason.
My wish, dear Flies, is that you see your life as a journey—sometimes uphill, sometimes bumpy, sometimes downhill sailing—but always full of lessons to be learned and growth to be realized. Have faith that your ride will take you to a happy place. Even if you get sidetracked and stray off the tracks every now and then to enjoy a field of daisies, do not feel that it is time wasted. Every life experience is part of the whole adventure. If even one small part were omitted, you would not be the person you are today, nor would you be connected to the same people that you love.
I started this chapter with a quote from Albert Einstein, so let me end with more of his sage advice. He also said, “The intellect has little to do on the road to discovery. There comes a leap in consciousness, call it intuition or what you will, and the solution comes to you, and you don’t know how or why.” May your road to personal discovery be filled with many fields of daisies.
Now, fellow Flies…what turns or misturns have you had in your life that has brought you to where you are today?