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  • Writer's picturePHamric

The game of Life

I carried a grudge around for years about my childhood. When I was a preteen, my oldest brother was pulled into a boat motor and wasn’t recovered from the water until the following day. Following the funeral, my mother was put in a psychiatric hospital, my brother shut me out, and my sister was lost to me. Dad usually was at work when I woke up and arrived home at bedtime. I didn’t just lose my brother; I lost my family. This was the powder keg for a lot of negative behavior that was to follow.

At the time, I could not process what was happening because, quite frankly, I did not have the emotional development and tools to deal with it. In life, when something happens to us, under the covers of the mind, we bring that experience in, compare it to the beliefs and experiences that we've already had, process the lesson and file it away in a manner that it can be a touchstone for future events as a guide on our path. The aftereffect of my brother was like a trashcan left in the middle of the living room. Everything that happened to me after that, when I brought it in, was compared to the stench and unresolved pain of abandonment, isolation, loss and fear and was inappropriately assigned value. Couple that with my challenges in a predominantly Southern Baptist experience of coming out and I was loaded with arsenal for justification.

I hit the starting line for taking care of myself when I reached the legal age of 18 and was able to vote and make and exercise my own choices. Taking care of the wounded aspects of my emotions and spirt took much longer. I wasted many years with the blame game I see others playing, and to those ready and willing to step up I say, “Claim your life!” Truly knowing who I am and being at peace with my nature, as much as I may have fought it in the past, open a door of self-honesty.

Since that time, I’ve spent many years trying to own my own actions and consequently getting to live my own life. I’ve encountered a lot of different people struggling to do the same. My frustration is that many never put their "big boy pants" on and draw a hard line when it comes to taking responsibility for their own actions. They want to hold on to a concept that they were damaged or were failed by their parents in order to justify their lives as doomed and refuse to do anything to change it based on their platform. While my heart is full of compassion, enduring my own personal losses, ongoing physical and emotional pain, and life struggles, I have little patience for someone who merely wants to be continuously comforted for their excuses instead of taking their life by the reigns and moving it forward. Please don’t misunderstand me, I believe in providing a safe harbor for anyone suffering, but I can’t in good conscience waste my energy trying to help someone who really just doesn’t want to do for themselves what I’m truly incapable of doing for them anyhow. A drowning swimmer will take you under. Happiness cannot be given. It is quite frankly a choice. I make a conscious decision upon waking that I choose to have a good day today. If I do not do this, the decision seems to be made by random events that happen to affect me.

I can admit that I make mistakes today. That understanding and acceptance allow me the ability to extend forgiveness to others bringing me freedom from resentment. None of us ever had a big book of answers provided to us that showed us the proper choices to make and the best way to deliver bad news. Accepting that others are as fallible as myself, and caught by the same life snags keeps me from needing to blame them for why my life is the way it is and let me step into the driver seat.

No one can make us wear the victim robe. If you still need to blame someone for why your life is like it is, why not start looking at the choices you have made for yourself and own them. Then own your next one and the one after that. Make ones with intent and purpose that you have no have remorse over. If you decide to make a bad decision, then jump in with both feet in that mudhole and splash around in it, but when it comes time to clean your shoes and possibly the floor, step up rejoice in the fact that you had choice.

My final point is if you have the capacity to read this blog then you have the ability to think for yourself and probably have at least a basic education. Your parents apparently fed you and provided something in the way of First Aid, but the baton is in your hands now. They got your game piece to the starting position. Now it is your turn.

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