By Fabian Dattner
I’ve got angry at a range of things I was doggedly doing that didn’t work; a key that wouldn’t open a door (wrong key), sending repeated text messages to someone and being irritated that they didn’t respond (wrong number), wondering why my iPad wasn’t charging (connected to my computer by my phone charger), furiously flicking a switch to turn a light on (sending Morse code out in another room as a light switched on and off, just not the one I was looking at). I’ve burst into tears as I’ve got lost (not following directions), I’ve turned up for dinner and been met with blank stares (wrong date); I’ve cooked nothing for dinner (sure my husband was cooking), gone to bed early (and missed a program I desperately wanted to see).
And if I ramp this up a notch: I’ve also been irritated (when I should have been insightful), been judgemental (when I could have been kind), blamed (when I might have taken responsibility), not listened (when that was all I needed to do). I’ve been obsessed with details (when I could have focussed on the big picture), I’ve nagged about something that hadn’t been done (when better by far I could have noticed the kindness I’d been offered).
And perhaps, when I am most honest, I’ve sought approval (when I could simply have stood up for myself), I’ve followed the rules to be safe (when the rules no longer served), I’ve waited for someone else to act (when I could have taken responsibility) or I have simply put my head in the sand (when the very thing I was afraid of needed to be confronted). Now and then, I’ve attacked (when I could have coached), I’ve defended my position (when it was the positions of many that mattered), I’ve competed (when there was no one to win against), and I’ve imagined an impossible standard (which only existed in my head).
Now many years have passed and I realise:
I want to aim for a purpose, a goal or a dream I believe in, for myself, to be more than I am today, but not so far that I feel it is impossible. I want more than anything to be the best of myself, to give as much as I can in my life time, and feel I learnt every step of the way. I want to help others, reach out, coach, support, encourage, guide, mentor and teach when and where ever the opportunity exists. And I want to love generously, even those people I do not know.
I have come to understand that these are the things I can do, over and over, that remind me I am doing the right thing.
And when I do them, life works.