Tag Archive | life

Life is God’s Novel… Let Him Write It

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I have spent a lifetime trying to write my own story… to come up with exciting plots full of wonderful twists and turns… and then filling the pages with extraordinary characters.  Somehow, through everything, I thought that maybe I actually had some say in how the story progressed, and then ultimately, how it would all turn out.  The truth is though, that although I may have been the one physically holding the pen, I was not the one doing the writing and putting those words down on paper.

You see, whether you believe in God or not, I tend to believe that most of us would agree that there is some power out there that is greater than each of us, that guides us and determines the courses of our lives. For me, it is in attempting to control my own course and the courses of others where I find true discomfort.

When I let go, and let myself be guided by faith, goodness unfolds. Many times, I am tempted to pick up that pen and try to write the next scene the way that I would like for it to happen. But I find that the scene never tends to play out the way I had originally intended. Is it because I did a poor job writing? NO. Instead, I think it is because there is a different, maybe even better plan than anything I, myself, could have dreamed up.

My guess is that I have been saved from many potential disasters that might have eventually occurred if I had gotten the things I thought I wanted, or if things had gone the way I thought they should.

So, for today, I am trying to step aside and hand over the rights to my story to something or someone greater, and most likely MUCH smarter, than me!

“Life is God’s Novel. Let Him write it.”

~ Patti Crowley

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Having Never Been Understood

I was that kid in school who followed the rules, never got in trouble, obeyed authority, but rebelled deep down inside. I was so fearful of not being understood, so I went along with what was expected of me and never challenged anyone. I have seen the following quote from John Lennon before, and I remember thinking, “Yes, I know EXACTLY what you mean Mr. Lennon!!”

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Even a few of my closest friends question the way I live my life. Oh they don’t necessarily tell me how they feel, but trust me, I can feel it in the questions they ask, the comments they make. It has occurred to me that I will never be able to please everyone, so I stopped trying quite some time ago.

One of my closest childhood friends, someone who knows every sordid detail of my life, called me back after I left her a message a few weeks ago. We had not connected since I made this move across country to Arizona. We talked about all of the usual things… how are the kids, how is work, etc… Then she started asking me the tough questions. Do I regret making this move, even though my daughter decided to wait a year to come out after her first year of college? Do I feel bad that I wasn’t there for my daughter while she shops for all of her dorm furnishings? Do I feel that the timing was right?  The judgment was evident in her voice.

If I am completely honest, I have made a few major life changes over the years, always with the intention of bettering the life of my children and my own. I walk to the beat of a different drummer… My goal has always been happiness. I never followed the traditional path… the one that might be viewed as socially acceptable. This friend of mine has been married to her high school sweetheart for many years. She was the PTA mom. She works as a nurse. She has never really understood what it is like to be a single parent, juggling a career and being the sole household provider. She cannot understand what my life has been like, and that is okay.

So when I tell her I just want to be happy, it must sound like a cop out. But that is all I want to be, and I am.  My life doesn’t fit in the traditional mold of what looks like happiness to others. But to me, it is exactly that.

I make no excuses for my life. To explain how I feel sometimes falls on deaf ears. Happiness is all I ever wanted. The road to this point may not have been a perfect straight line, but it was a road that I have been thrilled to travel, and am excited at where it will still lead.

~ Patti Crowley

All Is Well In My World… When I Practice Acceptance

Acceptance is really the key to happiness. When I accept that things are exactly as they are supposed to be, and the people in my life are exactly who they are supposed to be, all is well in my world.

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When things are bothering me, and I am feeling unsettled, the truth is that it is because I am finding some person, place, thing, or situation unacceptable to me. I read that recently and it has stuck with me. It made me realize that those occasional feelings of uneasiness, the trouble sleeping, the anxious thoughts… they are a result of me wishing that some person would act better, or that situation would resolve itself, and so on.

I have to remind myself of one very important truth. That truth is that nothing happens in God’s world by mistake. I believe that to the core of my being. If I am trying to control another person or a situation, I am saying that I know better than God.

So the bottom line is this… I have to accept that things are the way they are supposed to be, whether I like it or not. If I can honestly accept that, only then can I find the peace.

Today, I have that sense of peace. Today, I concentrate on what needs to be changed in me and my attitudes, instead of looking at what needs to be changed in my world. When I can accept that I am who I am, and things are as they are supposed to be, then all will be well with my world!

~ Patti Crowley

 

Gentle Reminder to Live for Today

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Today I was given a gentle reminder to live for today. There are times when I go through my day feeling disconnected. I do not realize the lives I touch and the lives that touch me each and every single day. A perfect example is a man who came to be known as my “car mechanic” back in Illinois. The first time I stopped in to get my oil changed, the owner was extremely kind to me. He did not try to upsell me, or make me feel like a typical clueless woman who knows nothing about cars (which happens to be the truth about me). I remember leaving that day wondering if he was being nice to me because I was a woman, or if he was just a good businessman. The reality is that he was simply kind and genuine.

I continued to go back, and always received the same fair and kind treatment. When my tires were desperately in need of being replaced a few years ago, I was distraught because I was pretty low on cash. He looked at me and said, “Patti, I simply cannot let you continue to drive on those tires. One is bound to blow out at any given time and that would be unsafe. I will get you the best price, and you can pay me whenever you can.” WOW.  He did, and I repaid him within a few weeks.

Things like that continued to happen over the years. I will not recount each and every kindness, but this was truly the most kindhearted and gentle man I have ever met.

This morning, a good friend of mine, who also went to my mechanic for all of his car repairs and service at my suggestion, called to tell me that he brought his car in for an oil change. When he saw our mechanic’s door was closed, my friend asked if he was on vacation. With tears welling up in her eyes, Marge, the office manager I suppose, looked at my friend and told him the very sad news. Our mechanic, our good friend, had passed away suddenly of a stroke just a few weeks ago at the tender age of 50. He left behind a beautiful wife and two teenage children.

Fonda… I will always remember your kindness. You were a fair and kind businessman with incredible integrity, but more importantly, a true gentleman and a genuine soul. I will continue to try and live each day to its fullest, knowing that every day is a gift not to be squandered. Our days on this earth are short, so we need to make each and every moment count, as you did. Thank you for the lessons. You will be in my heart always.

~ Patti Crowley

Laughter is an Instant Vacation

laughterI have not laughed as much in years as I have this past week. Having my daughter here in town with her best friend has been wonderful. There has not been a dull moment, to say the least. Why is it that when you finally settle down after a huge laughing session, that you feel so spent? What an amazing feeling!

Milton Berle said it best: “Laughter is an instant vacation.” I have spent many years taking myself too seriously, drudging through each day as if I was on some sort of mission, thinking only of the destination instead of the journey. But it is when we live in each moment that we find the most happiness. I remember working myself to exhaustion, just trying to get through until my next day off. But I can have an instant vacation if I simply live in the moment and enjoy every second, finding humor in mundane things.

The other night I went down to the pool with the girls after a long day at work. They were reenacting the scene from Dirty Dancing where Patrick Swayze and Jennifer Grey were practicing lifts in the lake. Now, may I remind you that these girls are 18 years old. I laughed so hard that I was crying. I realize this is one of those stories where you “had to be there” to find it funny, but I had to pass it along anyway.

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As I sat there with my feet in the pool and tears streaming down my face, I realized that this week, I have been living in the moment. Even at my new job, I have been enjoying getting to know the residents in the community which I manage. I have been taking the time to laugh with them, and listen to their stories, even though I may have files piling up which I know I will get to eventually. It is those little things that make life worthwhile. Laughing at silly stories, taking time to look at the mountains on my drive in to work, sipping a cup of fresh coffee that has just been brewed.

Life is beautiful, not to mention FUNNY, if we simply take the time to look around.

~ Patti Crowley

 

 

Your Past is Simply a Story You Tell Yourself

your past is just a story

I personally know so many people that have spent years in therapy trying to sort out their past in a valiant attempt to discover how it has molded them into the person they are today. Many look to find some person, place, or situation in which to place blame for their shortcomings as if the discovery will somehow repair their faults or bring peace where it did not previously exist. However, I firmly believe that our past is just a story we tell ourselves, and like the saying above, it has absolutely NO power over you!

Have you ever seen one of those “tests” where they observe a group of people witnessing the same event at the same time?  When each observer is asked to describe what he or she saw, their experience or interpretation is quite different from those of the other observers? Have you ever had a disagreement with someone, and then afterward, you twist the details in your mind and make it out to be something so big and disastrous, while the other person feels calm and settled, having put the “simple” disagreement completely behind them? By the way, in this particular scenario, the person who is twisting the situation is typically a woman and the other is typically a man… but I digress!

Looking at our own past is quite the same as the two previous scenarios. We tend to think of events from our past through our own distorted lens. We can make mountains out of molehills, so to speak. Maybe we find that it is easier to place blame on our childhood, or on that one miserably failed relationship. Maybe it is easier to believe that the reason we are not successful, for whatever that term means to each of us, is due to circumstances or the unfair hand we feel we have been dealt.

So maybe it is time we stop creating our own fictional story about what our past means to us. Our past is simply how we choose to view it! The key word in that statement is CHOOSE. Therefore, we can choose to either change the way we think about our past, or choose to accept that our past is simply our past, and move on!

We can waste precious time and energy dwelling on a past that is really only a simple story we have created with our own warped minds, and yes, we are all warped in some small way. So I say, stop looking back… it only serves to leave you with a wicked neck ache!

Be in today, focus on the now, and live!

~ Patti Crowley

 

 

 

There For The Taking

Looking out of her window on a gloomy spring morningwindow
She can’t help but wonder
Is it out there, waiting ever so patiently for her?

Will she bring with her that childhood anticipation,
That mischievous smile, that trusting soul?
Does she realize that true happiness is already within,
And not outside in any majestic place or in another soul?

Will she realize the hopeful dreams of her youth,
Making proper use of her gifts and talent?
Or will she shrink back into that safe place of obscurity?

Will the extraordinary beauty of her new environment
Allow her the space and inspiration for which she has longed?

I believe she knows with every ounce of her being,
That it is there for the taking,
If she simply trusts,
And reaches deep within.

~ Patti Crowley