What if I’d turned right instead of left? I’ve been asking myself that question along this incredible life-journey for years. It’s a simple question, but the implications from the answer can be intense. The basic truth is that if I hadn’t I’d probably not be writing about it to you, nor be coming into my 10th month of residence in New Zealand with the man I’ve dedicated my life to. If domino number 2,345,110 hadn’t fallen at just the right time in just the right direction, I’d be a different person in a different reality. It’s that easy; a complete surrender to cause and effect.
I can hear the joint “DUH!” but there a point to this somewhat obvious pondering which is that I’ve learned to appreciate the order of how things happen, pain and suffering included. It’s the road we need to be on, whether we want to or not, and there is no time or benefit to regretting anything that’s happened along the way. Too many people obsess about the error or their ways or the wrongs they’ve endured, but the greatest lesson is to realise that these, too, are lessons. It’s sort of like those sour little Eeyores (originally from Winnie the Pooh) who come into our lives, or what my friend Pat back in San Francisco calls “spirit guides”. We’ve all known one or more of these types of folks, and bless them for their negativity as it shows us who we don’t want to be.
Take breakups for example. I most certainly didn’t enjoy the anguish that has come from failed relationships, or the time spent pondering my dysfunctional unions (and how to strategically get out of them). Every moment of doubt and fear was truly soul-wrenching, but that pain was hugely influential. I wouldn’t have the same understanding of my needs or ability to read my partner’s expectations. And this wasn’t just one but a series of lessons over my adult life. Heck, it really counts down to my earliest childhood, that amoebic period where needs are born. If I hadn’t needed to reach out harder for love I may not cherish it as much, and so on and so forth. Again, I can’t say any single hardship or hurt feeling was “worth it” in the moment, but I wouldn’t have flowed amidst life’s boulders and streams to be here now without each moment influencing the direction, swaying too and fro with the good and the bad.
This same mantra can be applied to where am I today, living in a small town on the edge of the Waikato with my husband. I’m a big-city boy, always have been, but I’m where I am for a reason, a few in fact, and there is no benefit to second-guessing why. That course of thought leads to a bottomless well where light from a positive future can’t reach. I’m right where I need to be, at least until my life-partner and I decide the time is right to shove off in a new direction. I know it’ll happen, of that I have no doubt. I’ve survived way too many stages in my life for this to be the last and I deserve to cherish this moment and its potential lessons as much as possible. It’s patiently prepping me (and my husband) for the next scene in our collective movie.
This isn’t just my story, though. This is about you reading this, and it’s about what’s going on in your life today. Right now. What’s happening around and to you? Do you really believe you’re in control or that there’s benefit to be gained by being where you are? How challenging is it for you to find firm belief in the purpose of this moment and are you able to see that it’s not the end but simply the means to the ever-evolving next step?
The bottom line for me is that I’m happy with where I am, the man I love, and the friends I have. Of course my world is so far from ideal but that’s the next influencing factor, isn’t it. Dissatisfaction and other such emotions tied to my lot will push and/or pull me towards the next stage of who I am and where I should be. I have no idea what that looks like, but I can assure you that being a rural husbear simply wasn’t on the roadmap even a few years ago so I have no right to prejudge the necessity to be right here, right now. My presence in his moment is building up that cosmic steam to blow me and my partner towards our next stop. I’m not rushing it, yet still look forward to it if that makes sense.
| Leif Wauters