Excuses, Excuses, Excuses
Doing the work necessary to travel the spiritual path can be daunting. So often times we settle for being less than we might be and we use a whole host of excuses to justify what we do or don’t do. However, in the end we are responsible for how our life evolves. Ernest Holmes wrote that we have a power within us that we can use to produce success or failure, what we can’t do is blame other people for our troubles. In other words we create the path we travel on, and if we don’t like the results we have only one person to blame and that’s the one we see when we look into our mirror.
Recently, my wife and I watched a program that followed two men as they were released from prison, both were convicted felons. They endured many setbacks and disappointments; for instance, many people won’t hire a convicted felon, neither had many skills, or much money. By the end of the program one of the men had risen above all of the obstacles and was starting a personal training business, the other person was unsure if he would be back in prison by years end. Obviously convicted felons face many hardships as they attempt to re-join society, this program showed though, how even someone in very difficult circumstances can rise above them with dedication and perseverance.
So many of us have given up on our dreams because people in our lives have discouraged us. Several months ago I attended a twelve week class on, “Arts As Healing,” that my wife conducted. One of the papers I wrote for the class addressed the issue of overcoming naysayers in our life; here is a part of that essay. Like many of us I have had my share of naysayers along the way, friends, business associates, relatives, teachers all of whom never missed an opportunity to pass along a discouraging word. I am sure you know what I mean, the people who said,“Why are you doing that? You’ll never succeed. Are you nuts? You’re not that smart. Be reasonable. But I didn’t want to be reasonable, I wanted to be Ron. So they helped me build my determination. Instead of giving up I got going. I wrote, I spoke, I started a business when everyone said I would fail, but what mattered was being who I needed to be.
So, to all of those who doubted, laughed at my dreams, told me I wasn’t enough, and generally tried to push me to living a smaller life then I dreamed about, thank you. You made me stronger than I ever knew I could be. Your doubt made me determined, I might never have done it without you. I owe you all a debt. Just as those who love me gave me positive affirmation you gave me the desire to carry on. Now that I am living a life that I could never have envisioned with a love I never could have envisioned consider the debt paid in full. I graduated and you are all free to find someone else to discourage.
You and I are always at choice. We can listen to those who discourage us and use their words as excuses for not trying to live our dreams, or we can listen to our hearts. It seems like a very easy choice to me. How about you?