Life never turns out exactly how you plan it. In fact, my life has strayed so far from my original ideals I scarcely recognize it at times. I never dreamed I would find myself divorced. I never imagined I would lose a newborn to an illness. I never contemplated narrowly escaping from a cult whose members finally ended up in prison. Life has presented me with some interesting and unique obstacles, and yet when it is all said and done I am not convinced I would do it differently.
My current challenge involves parenting. My oldest son is within weeks of graduating from high school. He is smart and a great soccer player, yet with all his talents his grades are mediocre and he even dropped out of soccer this year. I don't believe in pushing my children into a life that will make them unhappy, so here I am struggling with decisions I am afraid he will regret one day. In my original parenting dreams, my children are all top students with at least one blazing talent in some non-academic area. Ah! the reality!
I listened to a wonderful interview on Jennifer McLean's Healing With the Masters teleseminar series (http://www.healingwiththemasters.com/) this evening with Neale Donald Walsh, author of the Conversations With God series. During the interview, Neale spent some time talking about humility and described some of his experience as a homeless man. As the life he had known was totally stripped away, the person he truly was came through. He had been defined by the world's standards. Becoming homeless revealed that light that Neale is.
As I look at my life, I realize my challenges have been some of my greatest teachers. My life may not measure up to the world's standards as being wonderful and grand. Still, when situations come along that make me challenge those beliefs--when all has been stripped away, I do not see myself as lacking. I am able to see who I really am, and that makes all the difference.