What do you build monuments of? Fond, heartfelt, joyous memories?… Or painful, heart-wrenching moments that you’d like to forget? I asked myself this same question after a lengthy discussion with family. Their ability to recall so many wonderful times from the past puzzled me. Had I overloaded my memory with a ton of very difficult “adult life” events, that it caused me to push some of the positive experiences to the rear? They had memories of school activities with specific details that amazed me. I thought, “I barely remember what happened last week, let alone something that transpired in the 5th grade.” This startled me. I thought I was a “glass half full type of gal” in most cases, but maybe I was wrong. Why were the disappointing circumstances so vivid, while some of life’s pleasantries, so fuzzy to me? I’m sure I enjoyed the 5th grade too :). So…was I guilty of building monuments of disappointment to the extent that it covered some of the happier reflections I should have? Was I emotionally and spiritually dwelling amongst tombs? “No way,” I thought. I seek to create better, and think on thoughts of substance to coat the base of my mind…right? Uhm..this led to deeper thought.
*A tomb by definition is a house, chamber or vault for the dead.
*A monument is a building, statue, etc. that honors a person or event.
Was I housing and honoring the wrong thoughts in some cases? I “thought” I was doing an excellent job of thinking on whatever was pure, lovely and of good rapport most of the time, but this question sparked new revelation. Had I allowed “life” to get the best of me? May it never be.
This was incredible news to discover, so I continued to investigate. As I examined my spiritual markers, I concluded that I was indeed guilty of harboring some less than pleasant experiences. I thought, “didn’t I just establish everything as a “win” just last week.” Apparently I needed to take things a step farther. I knew I needed to change this so I decided to make a deliberate effort to do so. As I further pondered the topic last night, I glanced over at a lime green napkin filled with seashells. I had purposely tucked them inside one of my cuff bracelets for safe keeping… for the journey. I recalled the day I gathered them- One overcast evening at Clearwater Beach last June. I did so, while meeting up with my mentor/long time friend Leeanna, her husband and brother-in-law. They were in the area vacationing, so it allowed us to connect. As we conversed, laughed and trekked across the beach, I took note of the miniature treasures in the sand. I knew I was approaching the end of my journey in Florida, and decided to gather them… as a bit of a going away present. I was reminded of Joshua and the Hebrews crossing the Jordan River as I scooped each one up. They collected 12 stones (one for each tribe) to create a monument, honoring God for parting the waters and keeping them until they reached dry land. I too, wanted a memento of how I’d, not only gotten safely to that point, but also as a marker to remember along my way. Now almost twelve months later, with one foot still attached to FL, and the other out, I wondered if I was soon to approach dry land. The seashells resurfaced at just the right time. I smiled as I gazed at them. There existence proved something to me- I do create pleasant monuments, filled with hope for what’s to come- more good times..and more great memories… to obviously replace the elementary ones that I’ve somehow discarded. 🙂
Clearwater Beach, FL
By definition, the word win means to achieve victory, or to get (something) by effort! According to Merriam-Webster dictionary.com, lose means, to fail to win or to fail to keep or hold (something valued or wanted.) And lastly, the definition of draw, that directly applies to this blog, is to come out even (like in a contest.)
When I think of these 3 definitions as they relate to life, I wonder where most of us feel we actually fall. So…I began to categorize a list of my personal experiences in one of three columns for this particular exercise. After careful review, and much consideration, I determined something. I hadn’t actually “lost” in the experiences listed under column #2, because I’d “learned” so much from each of them. Of course, there were situations and circumstances I would have rather avoided, but I can truthfully say, “some” good came out of them. No, it wasn’t the outcome I’d hoped for in every instance, but there were glimpses of gems hidden beneath the surface. What needed to happen – I had to make a conscious effort to focus on them, as opposed to how they negatively impacted me. As for the “draws,” I realized they weren’t so bad either. These items didn’t weigh too heavily one way or the other, and still managed to offer some positives as well.
Thus, these findings prompted me to make a very bold move- I placed everything under the”win” column, and walked away. I won, and I plan to keep winning, even if I make a few more mistakes along the way!
#winning in #Canada
I can’t say what the future holds, but today I’ll be grateful for my upbringing. Cheers to you O-H-I-O!!!
Yep, no matter where God takes me….I’m just an Ohio girl….living in this big ole world!
An Ohio Girl at Heart on Queen Street in Niagara Falls, Ontario
Candace on the loose in Canada