“Most of the shadows of this life are caused by our standing in our own sunshine.”
Ralph Waldo Emerson
This has become one of my favorite quotes. I have turned it into a bit of a mantra. It is a reminder that the man in the mirror is responsible my success or lack thereof. It is a reminder that I must always hold myself accountable for my actions.
Accountable and responsible for what I have or don’t have. Accountable and responsible to placing stumbling blocks before myself and determining how to remove them. It is not always easy to do. Not always easy to look in the mirror and accept my role in how things play- but necessary.
Necessary because my acceptance of playing a part in things gone wrong also necessitates my accepting credit for good things. It is not always easy. I am very hard on myself and have always been so. If you read through the ramblings here you will see what I have said about being good enough.
I don’t like it. I am good enough to get by in a million different areas. Smart enough, strong enough, athletic enough etc. That is fine and good- but it doesn’t provide the sort of satisfaction that I want. I don’t want to become complacent and simply accept whatever it is I have because I can do more and have more.
When I refer to having more it is not material possessions that I am discussing. I want more than I have but I don’t necessarily need more. What I need is more peace of mind. What I need is more satisfaction and happiness in specific areas.
I am on a quest for those things. I have a mental checklist that I run through. I know where I am on that list and where it is I am heading. It is important to me so I stay on top of it.
As a father I work on all of these areas so that I can be a better parent. I work on teaching the kids to be accountable because the only people we can control are me, myself and I. If we take care of ourselves many of the little details fall into place.
It is not always easy to take on the burden of accepting responsibility for our actions. Sometimes there are things that are out of control. People aren’t logical. They do stupid things and sometimes we react to them. Sometimes we are screwed by others. Sometimes we are mistreated and we take a hit. Life isn’t fair. It never was and it never will be.
But if you worry about yourself you can do things to help prevent falling into the holes, traps and pitfalls that are otherwise presented.
Somewhere out there in the universe is a person that I’d like to talk to about this. Somewhere out there they walk and wonder as do I. Maybe they claim otherwise. Maybe they say that they don’t wonder but I don’t buy it and I don’t really think that they do either.
If life were fair I wouldn’t be writing about it. If life were fair this wouldn’t be a topic- but it is not fair and I am writing. And I am making it clear to the universe that I am open and asking for help for this cause because it is worth doing.
At the end of the day all you can do is try hard. All you can do is go out and be responsible for yourself. And though I have sometimes found myself to be the victim of my own sabotage I think that ultimately I will get what I am looking because I am willing to do the work to make it happen.
In the interim I am working on doing what I can not to stand in my own sunshine.