“Fool me once, shame on you. Fool me twice, now that’s not nice”. – Oh GW, you never did cease to entertain our societal structure with such words of wisdom (and in case my sarcasm is not apparent, well, consider this my plug for my witty jab).
When your emotions are entangled, sometimes you are going to play the role of the fool. Truth be told, I almost welcome the title of “fool” for it provides solid confirmation that affirms my ability to give second chances. You see I am a big believer in second chances. Call me crazy but I do not subscribe to the theory that people cannot change, or that once they have neglected your relationship in some aspect they are to be written off. As Bob Marley put it, "The truth is, everyone is going to hurt you. You just got to find the ones worth suffering for." In this world we are enticed to be jaded and distrustful. Shamefully, I have had my fair share of days; giving more credit to the negative aspects of the human nature rather than believing in the greater good. But overall my optimism in human spirit outweighs my pessimism. Except, most importantly, my ability to give myself a second chance …
Walking on Union Ave …
A few weeks ago, we packed a bag and screamed, “Road trip!” It was a spur of the moment adventure of spontaneity to spend Mother’s Day in the historic district of Memphis. Walking through the streets, listening to the sound of the Delta Blues in the air, gazing at the city skyline through an afternoon riverfront cruise, I felt content. I also felt saddened and vulnerable; exposed to the truth that lately I have been harder on myself than necessary. No down time, no room for error – I push and push, pretending that through this effort I am giving myself a fighting chance, when really I am only exercising my vivid imagination that this discipline can rule.
When it comes down to it, I am my own worst enemy, my own worst critic, and my own worst self-sabotaging, overanalyzing, holding back, let time slip by and move spaces behind, don’t give enough credit where its due and fall short in allowing to just “be”. I have been harder on myself for a variety of reasons; most lavishly lately has been in the area of decision making. I question everything. If I make a decision, I second guess the choice not even enjoying the moment of bliss because I am too busy not allowing myself to feel content in the chance.
Why I am hard on myself when it comes to second chances? Because I am afraid I have made the wrong one. That fear eats at me. That little voice plagues me: Are you sure? Look at your track record – it’s bound to end badly. A track record that encompasses the facts: At my breaking points I have been rash, quick to make decisions, and lean towards regret – my gut reaction in those moments determined my day and course of action – how blinded I was by a quick solution that I neglected to have patience in order to see a long term one. I am too generous in the art of giving more of myself than others give in return. Be it friend or foe, I give my heart and affection right from the start. In the end, this generosity leads to inner pain. I also have broken hearts unintentionally; I have spoken words out of anger and alacrity. I have been weak and tempted. I have been plagued with guilt and worry; nights with tormented sleep. At times I have been in dire need, at the end of my rope, pushed towards approaches in life I would not normally take; avenues that undoubtedly lead to a heavy heart. When you act out of necessity and haste, you are fueling a breeding ground of self defeat and therefore you are reluctant to speak your true feelings, to pursue your dreams, to engage in endless possibilities, and to embrace the true moments of today. In the end you seem to shut down the possibility that taking a chance, giving yourself a chance, no matter how it ends, is what you need in order to learn, to gain, to grow, and to give yourself a fighting opportunity at finding peace.
Those Tricky Emotions … Can lead to Endless Possibilities
I don’t want anyone else dictating my emotions, its hard enough dealing with them on my own account, so I don’t want to tell you how to feel either. However, listen to the inner voice inside of you – and not the one who likes to give you a hard time, but the one we think has no energy left, the one that encourages chance. We say we want the “complete package” deal, so afraid that we are missing it... like its being presented in flashing neon lights and we just happen to be in a coma like state oblivious to the blinking illumination. Or, we can force the deal to come to fruition by releasing our self doubt of its duties and unveiling the luminosity of chance. We can continue to be persistently preventing change and shuttering at the thought of stepping outside the box, keep muddling through and not really make any changes / choices / risks. Or, we could step into the kitchen and create a start to our day that to an ordinary eye is scrambled eggs, but to our souls it’s disguised as a kick off to a day filled with endless adventures, and opportunities to be had.
Our habitual routine is to beat ourselves up, instead of seeing the option to stop being hard ourselves and making our lives more difficult than they need to be. So we are going to make mistakes. We are going to fall down. We are going to mess up, hesitate, question, and feel pain by our choices. But, if we don’t make mistakes, we are never going to learn; and if we don’t give ourselves a second chance to make mistakes, we shelter ourselves off from any chance that can provide an outcome of endless possibilities.
Scrambled Eggs of Second Chance
The only thing that really makes me question is when I am thrown a curve ball camouflaged as scrambled eggs in the morning, when really it’s question and hesitation … So a choice is to be made. Eat the doubt and let it plague the day, or give yourself another chance at “chef of your kitchen and whip up a new, true, savoring dish with all of the additions you need.
With that said, each start to your day that you incorporate dishing out second chances, can have the potential to not taste so good. At times, we will be attacked, impoverished, misguided, disused and hurt daily; some in tiny doses, others in a tsunami of pain. But if we neglect to try, we will miss opportunities. And I already cannot help but wonder how many opportunities I have had that I did not hear the knock, and in the same reasoning, how many seconds chances have I had that I never took? How many have I given? A future faithfulness to ourselves is in order– the potential power we have if only we give ourselves a second chance – a third, a fourth, a nine hundred and ninety nine thousand plus infinity of a chance. We will mess up. We will make mistakes. We will fall like a drop of rain and manifest into a flood of unknown and uncertainty. We will be driven yet have no direction. We will be lost and seem to have no found. But the truth is, we can have certainty, direction, and be found in a mountain of peace if we follow our instincts, and leave the rest in the egg shells to be discarded.