The Irony of Life: Hidden Stories and Reasons
"Life is a culmination of past stories that presents itself here and now seemingly per chance sometimes, but always with a reason." Donald D Wright, PhD.
It started years ago, even before he went to Vietnam and became a tunnel rat, fighting for a country that had long ago taken his. And after the fight, he returned home and eventually back to where he began, near the spirit of his Yaqui grandfather. His grandfather had spent much time instilling life lessons and spirituality from his Native American ancestry to him and a part of that spirituality demanded that he give back to others the lessons his grandfather had given to him. And so he would take people into the desert and teach them. Teach them stories grandfather had told him. Teach them their worth and value here and within were worth more than the world around the desert that had taken from them the same worth and value.
The desert offered life in the midst of death, help in the face of hardships, and confidence in the face of concealed fears. He just allowed Nature and Spirit to do all the work. He just led the people to the desert and told grandfather stories. And each of these stories gave hope, forgiveness and second chances. They instilled wisdom, knowledge from stillness and solitude. And eventually the people started believing again. Believing in themselves.
The Birth of Another Story
Another person was born at a specific time and, as a result, was a little too young for Vietnam. He grew up playing ball, camping with the Boy Scouts and riding the back roads on weekends. He was an ok kind of guy, pretty much the same as every other boy in town except he had a restless soul. After graduating high school, he hit the road working and living in his van for a few years, trying to raise a family and go to church every once in a while. But the road was much more interesting than church and every town was an adventure waiting to happen.
Years of adventures finally took their toll on him and he settled down. He went back to college and even found Jesus along the way. He became a counselor to the hurting, a friend to both sides of the tracks, and a mentor to those who listened. He now had an academic education that complimented his "living on the road" education. But most of all he developed a special kind of spirituality that can not be found in books. He cared about people and when he talked to his God, he was told to go heal them.
And still another person came into this world. A beautiful blonde baby girl with a brother and sister and proud parents. After a few years in California, the family moved to Arkansas where she grew up playing ball, fishing, helping her father and mother and riding the back roads on weekends. Beauty was in the eye of the beholder and belittlement was in the hands of the brother as often is the case of older brothers who enjoy picking on their younger sister. Dreams of the future gave way to reality of a positive test and the preacher signed the certificate. And then a history of failure began. Failed marriages, failed jobs, failed drug tests, more failed marriages. Until one day after closing herself in her room for a year, she decided to fight. And fight she did. And one day she walked the line to receive her college degrees and another day she walked the aisle to receive Jesus in her heart.
Another Story and the Beginning of Reason
At another time and another place, somewhere at sometime another baby girl was born. Not much was known about her except that she was now in her early twenties. Her life had not been the greatest and it seemed to be getting worse. After she lost her innocence, she lost her pride. After she lost her pride, she lost her future. And just when she thought she didn't have anything else to lose, she lost her child.
Laying on her bed one night, she cried. Then she stopped crying as thoughts of how to end her suffering drifted into her mind. She knew it was wrong but she was tired. Very tired. Tired of trying, tired of being used, tired of living and tired of life. Her thoughts turned to her child and her head turned to the book lying on the table by her bed. For some strange reason she opened the book to a chapter near the middle of the book. And in this book she read a story that a grandfather had shared with his grandson one time before the grandson had gone to war in Vietnam.
The story was about a Native American woman who had captured an eagle and had tied one end of a rope to the eagle's leg and the other end of the rope to a stake in the ground. The eagle had been a captive of this woman for so long that all the eagle did was walk in circles with the rope tied to the stake and its leg. It had lost its will to fly. Then one day the eagle was discovered and set free. But the eagle only flew a few feet off the ground and soon came back to the stake and walked in circles around the stake as it had done for so long. It had lost its spirit. It had forgotten it was an eagle.
For some reason the young girl found determination reading this story. She decided she would not be like the eagle. She was meant to soar and soar she would do. She would fight for her life, fight for her freedom and fight for her daughter. She would live and not die. And she would call the person who gave her this book and tell her how much she appreciated it.
On a night in which she was so tired she couldn't even think straight, the telephone rang. "Why won't they leave me alone?" she asked herself. It was days like these that made her wonder if she had done the right thing by going back to college and becoming a professional counselor that tried to help others like she once was. She had worked so hard pushing back all the hurts from her childhood, all of the recordings in her head that used to tell her that she could never make anything of herself, that she couldn't do anything right. Especially her marriages. She wondered how life would have been if she had stayed in California.
She answered the telephone reluctantly. And after a few minutes she hung up the telephone and with a smile on her face and a twinkle in her eye, she spoke to her husband. "Honey, you won't believe this." she began. "All of your efforts have paid off! All those years you traveled and lived in your van, the drugs and alcohol and heartaches and then finally going back to school and learning how to help people have paid off. I just had a client who was on the verge of killing herself read one of the stories in your book and it made her realize that she can be what she wants to be. That she can learn to fly again. That she can live!!"
And the husband looked at the floor. Thinking of all the years of heart ache he had experienced before meeting his wife. Thinking of the time he decided to write a book. Thinking of the time when he telephoned an old Yaqui Indian in Arizona to get permission to use a story that the Indian's grandfather had told him when he was a boy about an eagle that forgot it was an eagle. Thinking about how God works in everything and how everything had came together at the right times to save a life.
Thinking that everyone in this story did something right. They didn't give up.
The Grandfather: Grandfather
The Yaqui Indian: Lynch Archeleta
The Husband: Doctordonfinally
The Wife: Miss Pam
The Young Girl who read the story: Confidential
The Book: Thirty Days To Ponder: Spiritual Inspirations for a Positive Life by Donald D Wright, PhD