Layers. I have many. Everyday I have more stripped away. Everyday more is accumulated. Sometimes the accumulation is more than the stripping away. Sometimes the dirt piles up faster than I can clean, sometimes I don’t even notice it showing up.
Yesterday, I was looking through the windshield of the car driving down the street, reading signs, looking at trees, children playing, the beach to the left, and I am grateful for it all. I think that the cost of this is worth every investment, investing in myself. The car windows looked clean, it hasn’t rained in a few days, or months, the car is new, still has that smell inside, faint and fading. I turned on the windshield wipers to clean away some of the dirt that shows up in the light driving towards sunset. The glass is cleaner.
I had no idea that it was so dirty. Not this visibly different. Not this dirty.
How many times are we looking through a glass window that we think is clean? How many times do we get that window cleaned only to realize how dirty it was before?
Dirt accumulates slowly. We don’t notice it showing up, we simply change our view, adjusting to the sediment, adjusting to the environment. It is only after the cleaning that we realize how dirty it had become and how clouded our view was.
I hated history class in school. All of those dates to remember who was fighting whom, over what who or why, it absolutely bored me. I didn’t want to remember that on this date in this year this happened. It happened. I like knowing it happened. I feel it is important to recognize that things happened. We can learn from them, but in all of the history classes I was forced to attend in school all I have learned is that; History repeats itself.
I was told by a teacher that we study history so that we can change our future. Our presidents and world leaders have studied history in school too, and have entered into the same wars for the same reasons as the people in the history books did, and we have the same results. CRAP.
I have started from zero a few times in my life. When it finally gets good again and I’m in the positive, sitting comfortably, able to relax and take vacations . . . I toss it away and start from zero again. Why?
Each time at zero I recognize a little clearer the goal that I once had, the goal that gets cloudier and cloudier as I worry about money, time, and take on other peoples issues as my own. I worry about these things and shift my focus onto them, shiny objects, pointy, sexually curved objects . . . wants, desires. I can always go backwards. I can always go back to what I know. But forward is forward, no matter how slow you go, no matter how many times I come back to zero.
So I’m back at zero again. I’m happier this time. I’m happy to be at zero, happy to be clear again on my intention. It was painful stripping off those layers, having them pulled off but the windows showing my goal are clear again. I can focus.
To serve myself, I will keep those windows clean. I will keep my perspective and focus on the goal. I am not a history book. I am not a US president.
I am afraid of reverting back to my old ways. I have done it many times now, why have I not learned? Why have I not paid attention? I am afraid, but not petrified by fear. I know what can happen, and what will happen should I go down that path again. I’m still easily distracted by shiny objects, with points and the right curves.
I am paying attention. Somewhere in the back of my head when I was distracted and being separated from my goals, a voice was being drowned. That voice was not forgotten, it is the reason for starting from zero again and again and yet again. Each time I reach zero I go back to listening to that voice, tuning into it again, reconnecting. Washing away the dirt so that I can see. That voice . . . let me continue to listen, this time.
I have knowledge of my past, what I have done, how I did the various things, and the results I received from them. If I look back I can recreate the same results, but why would I what to do that?
I am different today from yesterday from last year, from 10 years ago.
Sometimes forward is so slow it is painful. It is painful because I have attached a time limit, limiting myself. All too often I receive a blessing, and rather than sitting with the blessing and taking time to thank that blessing for entering my life, I’m already on to the next thing. I want more, or I feel a need to improve the blessing I only received a minute ago.
Stop and recognize the blessing. If only for a moment, pause. Than move on. I believe that the more we recognize the little blessings the more they will build up into a larger blessing, but it starts small.
Make it into a game today. List 5 things that you are grateful for. Only 5.
The trick is to play this game when shit hits the fan, when you are grumpy, focused on yourself. Guaranteed that it is not the game you are thinking of when you are grumpy, but it is probably the game you need.
Here is why:
When you stop and recognize what you are grateful for or to you shift your focus away from yourself and your view gets larger. As you think of these 5 things, more things will come up that you are grateful for, changing your perspective. Body language, and brain chemistry changes. The day becomes brighter and your windows get a little cleaner.
Sure the other option is to do nothing, stay grumpy pants, feeling sorry for yourself. I’m grateful I choose to do the things that you won’t, so that I can do the things that you can’t.