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It Does Get Better

I guess it does get better.

If there’s one thing I’ve got used to the past few years, it’s that when things go wrong – they go seriously wrong. It doesn’t do any good to second guess or beat myself up about how life unfolds. I was making my bed a long time and as the saying goes – ‘you made your bed now go lie in it.’ So here I am – lying in my bed – my huge California King sized bed of life.

If there was a way to kick my own ass, I would. Like that scene in the movie “Liar, Liar” when Jim Carrey beats the crap out of himself in the men’s room. “I’m kicking my ass… do you mind!” Hah, yeah I could see that. The list of whys – Why did I do this? Why did I do that? – is so long it would be a brutally long beat down.

One day not too long ago I woke up with a newfound understanding about my situation. I’m not someone to wallow in misery or complain bitterly about my lot in life and how I’ve been let down… blah, blah, blah. However, I admit it’s been a rough patch. When you go from hero to zero in the range of something like forty-five minutes at the whim of a few men- it is very traumatizing. I can’t really whitewash that. Suffering emotionally, financially, spiritually and socially in one fell swoop felt like a Tyson uppercut knocked me down for the count.

However, this one day when I said ‘hello morning’, my resolve had returned somehow. My view rotated 180 degrees. Before my life took a turn for the not so good I was a chronic go getter setting high but modest goals for myself inside and outside the congregation and working hard to achieve these. For the most part I did.

I had the cards stacked against me as a devout believer. Not everyone takes a Jehovah’s Witness seriously so I had to be clever and creative to get what I wanted. This required a certain mindset, a focus and unrelenting resolve to push through despite the odds.

Under the growing weight of anxiety caused by the strain of increasing spiritual responsibilities, I gradually allowed that mindset to wane, becoming like stagnant water; foul from standing still. They say time heals all. I don’t know if it’s completely true but I can say time did help me. Time helped me make sense of my messy past, and emerge from the thick fog of disorientation to a state of renewed purpose and clarity. It was as if all the confusing crap I lived the last few years now made sense. All the hurt, all the pain – and all of the consequences, while certainly not desired were put in their place.

I realized I’m in control and as captain of this ship, no one but me can steer me rightly. That morning I took ME back. I stole my MOJO back. People have a right to make choices. We’re so damn fortunate to live in a free society. Les Brown once said we shouldn’t allow someone’s opinion of us to become our reality. That was the clarity for me that morning. I realized so many of my hang ups were based on others views, of me, of my situation, and it was a restraint on the goal setting mindset I had let lay still for too long now. Like a newly mothered Tigress looking for prey to feed her brood, my ambition was back with a ferocious vigor.

I decided I need to do what I need to do to get where I need to be without allowing others to detract or distract me. I had goals to accomplish and that morning decided to refocus on these. I concluded I’m not going to allow someone else to define me based on my past. I decided if former associates choose to live in the past so be it but I need to move forward. They can choose not to speak to me or acknowledge me, but I will always be cordial and friendly – just as I am – being me. That was a huge break through.

Life had me looking backwards; but looking backwards had me at a standstill. Forward movement is what takes you somewhere. It propels you. I decided that’s how I need to be, in sprinter lean mode letting that forward momentum lead me onward.

Yeah, looking back it got bad – but all in all, things could have been worse. Yes, when it comes down to it I guess it does get better.

© Marc Townsend

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