If I had to do it all over again...
Looking Back on Life
It is difficult for me to digest that I will soon be approaching fifty years. Growing up, I never realized how quickly life would naturally fly by. Nor did I realize how I would one day yearn to have the chance to do things all over again. It's amazing how priorities change with age and how regret takes refuge over one's heart. As a youth I always aspired to be the best...to prove my self worth be exceeding and succeeding. I exerted myself in anything and all things. I excelled in all things believing that all things were paramount. Perfectionism was not an option...it became a way of life.
Growing up, I was always told that I would never amount to anything. My faults and failures were always thrown back in my face: only to reinforce my feelings of inferiority and inadequacy. Somewhere I drew a line and decided that I would make something of my life. I set high standards for myself to obtain. My life would be determined and dictated by the my accomplishments, my accolades, and my achievements. Unfortunately, the same standards I set for myself I also expected of others and from others. I never comprehended the difference between striving for perfectionism and being perfect. Subsequently I made life miserable for me and those around me.
I could see the proverbial speck in another's eye a mile away. And I was quick to expose and expound upon that person's flaw. Inadvertently, I was doing to them what was done to me. I became intolerable and incorrigible. What I did not know was that I was the problem and not the solution. I refused to accept and assume any and all responsibility for how my attitude and actions influenced others. Nor did I realize the impact that my perspective would have on my children. It was not my fault that people were inept. At that time I never learned the concepts of grace, mercy, forgiveness, and patience.
Looking back, I would have spent less time on finding fault with everyone and everything and more time on those things which we tend to take for granted: such as time spent with family and friends, the beauty of the sun as it peeks over the easterly horizon and boos of the westerly plains; the song of a bird in flight; the giggle of a baby; the love that embraced me and enveloped me despite my drive for perfectionism; and most importantly the grace that God has showered upon me. Now I understand that success is not driven by the cars you possess, the careers you pursue, or the cash in you have in pocket, but rather is defined by your character and consistency, and by the lives you change.
If you are reading this, let me encourage you to learn from my mistakes. Enjoy the life God has given you: embrace the concept of do unto others as you would have done unto you: and entertain the thought that all people are created in His image...though they are not perfect neither are you. Let grace be the blood that supplies your heart and let goodness guide your feet.