Sidelined (Take Me Out Coach)

Have you ever been trolling right along, wind in your hair, troubles in the rear view. Life is good. Sun is shining. Birds are singing. Then WHAM, out of nowhere there you go, end over end. Landing in a mangled heap of mess. Well I have. And it sucks.

Life can take an unexpected turn from time to time. Throw us off balance. Leave us shaking our head. Maybe you want to ask the question, “Why me?”. Sure, go ahead. Just don’t expect an answer. At least not one that will make you feel better. We often cannot make sense of it. I suppose if we try, we can decide to learn something. Character building. Appreciation for the smooth sail. But man oh man, getting to that point is not an easy task.

We all have in our minds the way we want things to go. We fall into routines. We have patterns. We carve out the path that is comfortable and familiar to us. My path probably doesn’t look like yours, but that’s ok. We do what works for us. What makes sense in our mind. I am not suggesting that we are robots, just simply creatures of habit. Hopefully those habits are healthy, productive, safe.

And while it is probably totally unfair of us, we often expect those closest in our lives to mirror those habits and travel our path, or at least come close. Embrace it. Appreciate it. It can cause us great distress when we realize that is not going to happen, that someone else does not like our path.

People disappoint us. People hurt us. I am willing to suggest that a large percentage of them do not even realize when they do. It isn’t intentional. No malice or aforethought. Just the process of living their life happens to jam up the living of ours.

I was halfway into writing Part 3 of my breezy and somewhat silly First Date series when my world got a bit of that jamming up. It made finishing that post today a little trivial. Some things are not really that serious. Other things are.

Have you ever been so confident you had the right solution? Knew the better choice. That your experience and judgement was worthy of being heard. Yet been totally dismissed?

So what do YOU do when the wind gets knocked out? Gasping for air can only be an option for so long. Action is required. Or is it? Are there certain situations wherein the best thing to do is nothing? How incredibly hard is that? Unless we are extremely disinterested or borderline pacifists (in which case we would not be upset in the first place) we are hard wired to try and ‘fix’ whatever we perceive to be broken. Unfortunately only inanimate objects can be ‘fixed’. (And sometimes even that takes a professional.) Us living, emotional beings; not so much. No matter how confident that we are right, or justified or how valid our point, we cannot force our wishes and wisdom on others. Even at a cost, others will sometimes insist on their own choices and decisions. That’s actually quite ‘normal’. Heaven knows I’ve traveled roads that wise council warned me against.

It is a common human struggle. Many quotes and a Disney movie have been written to advise us to “Let It Go”. So why then do we resist the release of that control? Is it fear that they are wrong and only our advice should be trusted? Or fear that we are wrong and our advice is not welcomed? Whichever the reason, there are occasions when you have to just stop pushing. Just stop.

We have to be willing to give ourselves permission to be disappointed. Not angry. Not cold. Just not exactly what we were hoping for. This allows us to acknowledge we wish things were different while giving the other party permission to blaze their own trail. That trail may run parallel to ours, or it may veer off into a completely different time zone.  The key is keeping an avenue open between the two and not create a dead end.

I apologize if all this sounds a bit cryptic. It is personal for me. But it can cover many scenarios. A romantic partner. A close friend. A family member. We (I) have to release the reins. Life is too short to force feed your ideals onto someone who is intent on creating their own diet. And maybe we should accept that as a good thing. Just like there really isn’t one ‘diet’ that fits all, there isn’t one life choice that fits all. That actually WOULD make us robots.

So now what? We can choose to pray. That is something positive. I pray. For peace. For wisdom. (But not patience. Never pray for patience. You will end up right back here. If you don’t understand what that means, you probably were not raised Pentecostal.) Pray that things work out the way they are supposed to. Even if that means in a way you do not really want. You are only responsible for the outcome of your life. You can contribute in many delightful and wonderful ways into the lives of those around you, but they have to determine their own story. Release their publishing rights.
Concentrate on writing your story. Like I am trying to write mine. Some days here, some days just in my heart. Don’t give up. Don’t let the sideline derail your forward progress.  Get back in the game. I need you in the game. You are my inspiration.

Speaking of inspiration, I need to get back to Part 3 so all of you will know how to finish that first date you have been waiting so long to have!

Hope Out!


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