Life can pass you by

A woman I once met – a friend of a friend – never got married. She looked to me about forty-something. She didn’t divulge her age but what she told me about her single status was curious. She said: “I never got around to getting married. Life just kind of happened.” She was always busy, doing all sorts of interesting things, studying, working. And before she knew it, all these years went by.

This is what happens to all of us in one form or another. There are things we wanted but we were busy. Life just happened. We experience difficulties and problems, even big ones, and we say we can live with it because we somehow find a way to manage, to pretend it will go away or to put an awful lot of energy into coping and settling down to a lifestyle of unhappily living with this unresolved problem or with this never-actualized desire.

I’m not talking about things that are out of our control. When it comes to fate all we can do is choose our attitude towards it. I’m talking about things that we can do something about. But it hasn’t been working and we get stuck.

Days go by, weeks go by, years go by…

Maybe at one point we tried to get help but it was the wrong kind of help. Maybe we tried so very many times – unsuccessfully – to do something about it that we got tired of trying and we gave up on ourselves.

Patience is not always the answer. Waiting only makes sense in the midst of a process that’s going somewhere. In that context even a step back is part of the learning process that leads to the next two steps forward. But when it becomes clear that we’re not in a process at all, that we’re on the wrong track entirely, in that case it’s healthy to stop – not to stop and give up but to stop and change direction, switch gears, try something else.

There’s a certain sadness involved, knowing you’ve been going around in circles all this time. What a waste of all those years past! But the alternative is even worse – wasting all the years to come.

Instead, it’s possible to start today, to start again, to walk for the first time, to live!

If your path has been a dead end for so long, how do you find your way? If something is bothering you, don’t let it slide and don’t fall into delusions. Face it and try to figure out what’s not working and why. What’s going on in this “failure process?” Then you can pinpoint what it is that you need.

Once you know what you really need, you can look around to find help getting it.

The moral of the story is – Life really can pass you by. Don’t let it!

Batya Yaniger

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