Time for another transparent moment from Grace Waters…putting on my seatbelt, check. Checking my rearview mirror, check. Putting on my sunglasses, check. Putting the car in drive and not reverse, check. Ready to go. These last few weeks have been a time of intense contemplation and decision-making. I have been slightly annoyed because it has seemed as if I have reached a decision, then I will get a telephone call, text, etc, which causes me to begin the decision-making process all over again. It is like I was in a car ready to go until I got a text as I was pulling out, and I put the car back in reverse to go back to where I began to decide what my next step would be. For weeks it was this back and forth motion causing me to run low on gas and patience. A few days ago I realized just how low my gas tank was, and I understood that I could no longer vacillate back and forth between two decisions. I needed to make a decision and function accordingly. I made a hard choice. On one hand I had what I was used to and knew was good for me. On the other hand I had the unknown but promises of great things to come. I wanted both, but I knew that this is not how the world works. I chose what I already knew and was comfortable with, and what I knew was good for me versus the promises in the unknown. That had to have been one of the toughest decisions to make, but once I chose I stood by that decision. I understood that the decision had been so rough for me because I had allowed my mind to paint an image of so much greatness and splendor in the unknown that I had become dissatisfied with what I already had. My mind made my heart believe that I could finally be completely happy if I made the decision to jump out of my comfort zone into a place where promises were abundant. What my mind did not show me is that even in that other place I would have to deal with myself, which is the one thing that had been preventing my happiness in my present place. My mind held my body prisoner. Whatever crossed my mind is how I reacted, not realizing that I was allowing my prison to expand and encompass every aspect of my reality. When I understood that my mind held me prisoner, and that I had the set of keys for my release around my wrist the entire time, I had to decide whether I wanted to be free or if I wanted to believe that this prison that my mind created was better than my reality. I chose my reality because it was really the only choice to make. What my mind refused to allow me to see is that my reality is what I make of it. If I allow the picture to be painted of negativity, then that is what I see. If I open up my eyes, however, I will see the beauty in the midst of what may be deemed a barren landscape. We sometimes allow our minds to control our actions. By doing so we get ourselves caught up in places that we should not be. We lose track of ourselves, and we find ourselves prisoners of our own making. To live a free life and a happy life, we first have to learn that our mind should not dictate our heart. Instead, we control what our mind believes so that our mind cannot make us prisoner.
A few days ago I decided that I was going to take a walk. As I started off on the walk I did not realize just how long the walk was. When I completed the walk I looked up the distance and realized that I had walked three miles. As I walked it was cold and windy. My ears were aching. I was sometimes inches away from heavy traffic. Somehow though I kept pressing my way to my destination. I thought about stopping and turning around at least three times, but I continued on. My legs were itching and I was uncomfortable-still I chose to press on. When I began the walk I would have never thought that the walk would be so long, cold, and lonely. I planned the walk thinking that I would get to my destination quickly without any trouble, and I did not think that I would wish for company. That did not happen. Even so I finished what I set out to do. This made me think about other times in my life when I have set out to accomplish things. I started out each time believing that things would come easy and I would have no trouble completing what I began-every time I have proven myself wrong. There has never been a time in my life when things have been so easy that there has not been trouble. Any thing that has been worth something in my life has come with a price. Having to deal with the rough times has always made me appreciate the end result more. Knowing this, I have realized that sometimes the things that come easy to me may not be the best for me. Also, the things that are the hardest may not be worth fighting for. This is when I have to know what is for me and what is not right for me. Thinking about that I have chosen to continue to fight for what is mine, and to walk the path that sometimes seems difficult. Sometimes there are distractions as we walk. Sometimes we have to walk alone. Other times it seems that the odds are stacked against us, but we have to pull on the strength that is in us to continue to push towards the goal. This time in my life has probably been one of the most difficult-hard decisions, thoughts running rampant–but I know that the chaos is only preparing me for greater things to come. Because I know, I cannot flip out at the difficulty. Instead I push against the odds and wait for the moment when I will get to the expected place. Keep pushing. Do what you know to do.