Over the years, I have learned that you cannot make someone love you…all you can do is be someone who can be loved….the rest is up to them. I have learned that no matter how much I care, some people just don’t care back. I have learned that no matter how hot and steamy a relationship is at first, the passion fades and there had better be something else to take its place. I have learned that relationships cannot be controlled—no matter how hard I try and that love is a gift which I am also not in charge of—no matter what I do.
I believe that our background and circumstances may shape who we are, but we are responsible for who become, and we are responsible for our behavior toward others. I am aware that we are responsible for our lives---and when we accept that responsibility, our lives are much easier. Experience has also taught me that it takes years to build up trust---and only seconds to destroy trust. I have learned that loss is one price I pay for living fully, but that loss can also be a source of personal growth.
Helen Keller once said: “When one door of happiness closes, another opens, but often we look so long at the closed door that we do not see the one which has opened for us.” Open that new door—and happiness is there---regardless of the circumstances. I have learned that happiness is a process –not a thing—it comes and goes, and this process is ok. I know that a cheerful disposition can beget happiness--- and that if I pay attention I see I am having many moments of happiness every day. I read somewhere that it takes seventeen muscles to smile and forty-three muscles to frown---smiling is a lot less work---plus a friendly smile always makes me feel good.
Right now, I am endeavoring to forgive myself for being human, and then passing this forgiveness on to others. I have learned that forgiving myself involves accepting myself for who I really am, and telling the truth. I now know that whatever happens to me—for me or against me—it is what I do with that experience that makes the experience what it was.
“Last night as I lay sleeping, I dreamt
O, marvelous error---
That there was a beehive here in side my heart
And the golden bees were making white combs
And sweet honey from all my failures”
----Machadi de Assis