We are where we are

“It’s really a wonder that I haven’t dropped all my ideals, because they seem so absurd…Yet I keep them, because in spite of everything I still believe that people are really good at heart. I simply can’t build my hopes on a foundation of confusion, misery, and death…and yet…I think…this cruelty will end, and that peace and tranquility will return again.”

Anne Frank, “The Diary of Anne Frank

“As I walked out the door toward my freedom I knew that if I did not leave all the anger, hatred, and bitterness behind that I would still be in prison.” Nelson Mandela

While I was looking around online today I came across some quotes that directed me to the Unconditional Love Facebook page.  While I was there, I noticed these two quotes. And even though I’ve seen them both several times, for some reason I felt compelled to share them today.

When I was in class getting my undergraduate degree, we had a guest speaker, Dr. Edith Eger, come and talk to us. I’m not going to go into the whole story because it’s long (it’s in my book if you’re really interested), but when she spoke to us, it was her words that sparked that recognition that happiness is a choice and it was a choice I should, could, and was going to make starting then. I had always known happiness was a choice, but I was never able to make it before then. I wasn’t even able to attempt it. I was 23 at the time, and about to graduate from college.

I had a penchant for feeling guilty about the fact that I knew I should be thankful and doing more with my life, but I didn’t feel like anything would come of it if I tried, and I used all of that as an excuse not to. I stayed unhappy, I stayed safe never trying, and I let all of the anger and fear and guilt that I felt control me. I chose to let it control me, because I chose not to try to change it. I let it be my excuse. I let it be my life.

The greatest thing that has happened to me was that moment when I realized that we are all unique. We all have different things to overcome and different things to accomplish. And comparing my struggle with anyone else’s (everyone else’s in my case) wasn’t helping me at all. I shouldn’t feel guilty because my plight wasn’t as great as others. I shouldn’t ignore the fact that I should be effected by the things that did happen to me, even if I didn’t feel like they were as bad as someone else’s. And I shouldn’t let the things that did happen make me feel like I wasn’t worth anything and couldn’t do anything.

We are so complex and we have lots of mixed emotions about ourselves and about our lives. But we can’t let those things destroy our potential. We can’t let them interfere in who we are to become. When we go to bed at night Jack and I say a prayer of thanks for “all that we are right now, all that we can be, and all that we are going to become.” We are where we are. That is what it is. Where we are at this moment in time cannot be changed, but where we are going can. We simply have to let go of all of the stuff that is holding us back. No comparing our journeys, no letting the way others have treated us bring us down, no letting the things we have done in the past stop us. We are where we are. We just have to be willing to start from here. We can’t start anywhere else.

About laurenc129

I'm a mom. Sometimes my hands turn orange. Other times I write. On twitter: @laurenc129

Posted on July 18, 2012, in Uncategorized and tagged , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 62 Comments.

  1. Mohammad Saad Anwer Siddiqui

    Its exactly an idea to land with….Life is all about appreciation in all of its colors…However, I believe Life can only be encircled by self appraisal rather willing others’ to make you believe about it……Taking into task about all the pains and hardships I have come across some real identifiers about happiness of life. One of these identifier is your self-respect and standing on these hard times…..If we dont take things upon their real instances we will always end up with arguments and discolors…..Reading your article I realize it yet again….If you want to enjoy life…..go for it….world is always beautiful if you are good….to self and society….Neither be selfish nor let other to be so…..Life has no reverse gear…Live it as it comes to you….Happiness and Joy is your own choice….Never been universal…..

  2. melissabaileycomstock

    I find it difficult sometimes to live in the moment. There are so many events we encounter day by day that inspire us to take new paths in life. When that happens, we start planning for the future. Our spiritual side summons us stay grounded in the here-and-now. It sounds as if you’ve found your method for doing so. You’ll have memories to treasure because you took the time to be in them. Often, we remember events in the general sense, but not the details behind them. Thanks for sharing your insight.

    • I agree, it does get quite difficult to live in the moment for me, especially when things get stressful or uncertain. But I do try to come back to the things I know and focus on the things that are important. It’s finding the balance that matters and that can be quite hard. Thank you for stopping by and sharing! I appreciate it 🙂

  3. “Ester asked why people are sad.
    “That’s simple,” says the old man. “They are the prisoners of their personal history. Everyone believes that the main aim in life is to follow a plan. They never ask if that plan is theirs or if it was created by another person. They accumulate experiences, memories, things, other people’s ideas, and it is more than they can possibly cope with. And that is why they forget their dreams.”
    -Paul Coelho, The Zahir

    I had just read this quote right before I read your post, and it fit so well I couldn’t help but share it! Loved the sincerity of your post, very thought provoking.

  4. scribbleofhappygoluckygal

    Very well put up..:):)

  5. Love reading your Blog postings. So inspirational and intelligent. Thank you!


  6. Great quotes. Unfortunately only one of them made it out of captivity
    After 27 years in prison, Mandela still has had enough will to change the world. We can’t say enough about that kind of character.

  7. Lauren, reading this reminded me to “Be Still.” Being still does not necessarily mean doing nothing. It means pursuing life in preparation for our eternal home, enjoying the moment. Listening for that still small voice of God, for directions. Not to be so hard on tomorrow because it may never come. This allows us to accept ourselves where we are, and if we are not happy about something in our life then it doesn’t matter because Jesus is the “changer.”

    The ugly things or lack there of allows us to draw near to Him. I enjoyed this post and want others to be encouraged and blessed too. I read from Wayne Augden’s blog. He always shares God’s word. I am glad to cross paths with you Lauren.

    Shenine – A Woman After God’s Own Heart ♥

    • 🙂 Thank you so much! I appreciate that. Those are great words you shared! And he has a great blog, and I really appreciate his prayer list. I love those kinds of outlets.

  8. Reblogged this on Forty and beyond and commented:
    A good read …. with many points for reflections. Thanks Laurenc129 for sharing this post.

  9. Wow! You and I are a lot alike. I’ve been struggling with anger, hatred, and depression for twenty some years now. Thanks to you, other bloggers, and my own blog I am getting better.

  10. Great post. I love this: ‘We just have to be willing to start from here. We can’t start anywhere else.’ Exactly. Thanks for the reminder

  11. A choice between seeing things as gilt-edged – or guilt edged?

  12. I love those quotes. Many thanks for sharing!

  13. Wonderful post ..I NEVER allow regret not guilt to prevent progress but often it is a difficult task to not allow anger as an impediment. I love your thoughts and appreciated reading your ideas – you are a special lady. Shalom!

    • Thank you so much! That’s good that you don’t allow regret or guilt to interfere. They are built right into my family’s genes it seems! 🙂 But they definitely don’t help, so I want to try to keep Jack from letting them interfere. 🙂

  14. Great post. Thank you. Great words and a worthy reminder that what is, is. And that our future is our most important asset. Regret and guilt are baggage we do not need. They only stop us from moving forward. If we can assimilate and even celebrate adversity, we have a chance.

  15. Hi Lauren!

    Thank you for liking my post ‘The Message’.

    I can relate so much to this post as the ‘uniqueness’ in each one of us is what I have been thinking about a lot these days. There are some things that you know, but it takes time for that ‘self realization’ to sink in and help clear your thoughts. I am so glad you have had yours and I hope to reach there sometime too.

    All the best for your book.

  16. An important lesson… and one I’m still learning… but I’ve always tried to take each day as it comes… I think this is why, when things go wrong, I often seem cold and unemotional, because it’s my defence mechanism kicking in. I have to stop, look, and ask, where am I? Where do I need to be? How do I get there?

    Removing the emotion from the situation helps because the emotion simply clouds the issue for me.

    • I have a tendency to either have a quick temper or disappear, but no in between. I will withdraw in a heartbeat. Especially if I am overwhelmed. Which is a bad habit, but I’m working on it!

      • Are you familiar with Dr Kahler’s Process Communication model? I’ve just been training a corporate adaption of it called Behavioral Analytics… I’m supposed to be an Emotions-based person but I’ve always thought of myself as being Reflections based, which withdraws when overwhelmed… didn’t know if it rang any bells…

      • I know the model, but I can’t remember the details… it’s been years since I’ve studied it. I do remember that a number of the males in our course ended up being considered emotion-based, and they were not happy about it. I wonder if there were gender demographics that have been studied with it recently. 🙂

      • Ha! Nothing wrong with being Emotions based… we make up the largest group in the US… but for guys, we’re in the minority as only 25% of that group are men. I don’t have an issue with it – it just means I can sit through an episode of Sex & The City without feeling the urge to do something manly like crack open a beer.

      • I thought it was around that percentage. It’s higher in different concentrations… I guess psychology seems to draw emotions-based people in!

      • Yes, I think you’re right, because they want to help people. I still think I’m Reflections based but that I had a phase change to Emotions in my early twenties. I’ve noticed that, under strong distress, I react in exactly the way a Reflections person would. But the rest of the time I’m predominantly Emotions based.

      • I used to try to fit myself into the different categories of the different theories, but then I decided (despite the fact that I understand and appreciate their usefulness) that I hated them all because they were all wrong (they are not) and I think I have a mental block for analyzing anything within those bounds any longer! Maybe it’s too much school!

      • LOL Yeah, I can see that… it reminds me of a quote I heard in one of the videos we played in training… the guy was saying how he hated to be put into a box… then he figured that if the box was large enough and there were people there to play with, he’d be perfectly happy 🙂

        I always figured I was pretty self aware but this has opened my eyes somewhat…. so I guess it’s not all bad, right? 🙂

      • Haha, that’s right! 🙂

  17. We are where we are…indeed. Move along and count our blessings. We do not know what tomorrow could bring and all we can do is try harder, always. Fabulous post, i LIKE!

  18. Clean and simple. Superb display of less is more. For what it’s worth, let me share a quote that came rocketing back to me when I read your post.
    I had the incredible honor of being at a lunch table with Coach John Wooden and my dad. Even as a kid, I got it when Wooden said: “As a coach, the one thing I try to teach my players is, ‘do the best you can, with what you have, where you’re at’. Do that as close to every time as you can and you’ll win — whatever that means to you”. Coach, RIP. I heard you.

    • That is such a cool story! I’m excited you had that opportunity! And his quote is fantastic. So true. And perfectly put. Thank you for sharing that here! 🙂

  19. Sarah Joyce Bryant

    Wonderful post! This is a great reminder of acceptance, but not complacency. I really love what you and Jack affirm each night. Cody and I say a special prayer each night as part of his bedtime routine, too. I have plans to post it to my blog soon. Thank you so much for sharing this part of your life with us 🙂

  20. What a wonderful post! And fantastic that Jack is picking up on that – his life will be so much better for it. I wish I had learned that before I was 40 something! Now, when things seem awful, I ask myself two questions: Can I control it? In 5, 10, 15 years, will it matter? Usually I can answer ‘no’ to both, so I let it go.

    • 🙂 thanks. And isn’t it really nice to be able to stop and think that way! It really does help bring into focus what matters, and what isn’t worth worrying over.

  21. voluntaryfiber

    I really like that prayer – it encompasses everything in our journey – gratitude, hope (aspiration) and faith. Thanks for sharing it!

  22. Great article, so simple in its logic. I tweeted and put a link on my facebook page for you. Keep on writing, you have a real gift for saying the wisest things without making us reach for a dictionary.

  23. Thank you for this Lauren. It’s not that I don’t know this, but it’s nice to be reminded that I do. 🙂

  24. Usually it is the crone who is wise, but Divinity led you to your wisdom early. I can only encourage you to continue on your path and make sure you enjoy the journey.

  25. Jack is so very lucky to have you as a mother, I wish I had someone to teach me this lesson. I taught myself and it took months slowly letting the smaller things go and over about 6 months I learned to be able to drop the big things. I learned this lesson probably at the perfect time because I had gotten into a car accident. It happened I took a deep breath and didn’t fret; the way I looked at it was… It happened and like you said YOU CAN’t CHANGE IT! People ask me how I’m so laid back so calm and I tell them I don’t let things bother me it is what it is you can only move forward. Thanks for the post Lauren.

    • Thank you! I wish I had figured it out sooner, it would have saved me a lot of stress! But I say all the time now, “it is what it is” and Jack has started saying that, along with “no worries.” And I’m glad he does. He’s got that anxiety in him that I had when I was a child, but my goal is to help him work through it so it doesn’t interfere with him the way it did for me.

  1. Pingback: Living Life- Moving past where you are « Live Life in Crescendo

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