Chasing Dreams & Other Truths

I’ve come to the place in life where I understand happiness. You think happiness is a simple truth. But it is quite complicated really. Sometimes you come to the realization that you are really chasing dreams. Instead of enjoying what you already have.

I didn’t even come up with a “word” for 2016 like I generally do. I never make resolutions. I think they are a ripe recipe for disappointment.

But I’ve noticed in the last month or so that happiness has found me. Settled down on my shoulders like a well-fitting sweater.

It just took me almost 59 years to be still long enough for it to come sit down beside me for a little heart-to-heart. And when happiness reached out and held my hand, I felt peace flow through me.

I have come to terms with things I cannot change. That is a massive time suck, not to mention the emotional roller coaster it puts you on. 

I’ve come to accept the relationships that are not how I want them to be. I’ve done what I can. I’ve put my desires and wishes and apologies out there. Which means the proverbial ball is in a court other than mine. 

And I have stopped wringing my hands in futility. Waiting and hoping. 

Another time suck.

If you build it, they will come…

Sometimes they will. Sometimes they won’t. You have to learn to live with either option, because you are not in charge.

I think if you step forth and admit your faults, do what you can to make amends, and they don’t pick up the ball that is in their court, then you have to let it go. 

This helps me: Pretend it is a blown-up balloon tethered to a string and you’re holding it in your hand. Say what you must to that balloon. Make peace with it. Take all the time you need to say what is in your heart.

And let it go. 

As you watch it soar up and up, bobbing off into the unknown, relax. I mean really relax. Loosen those shoulders. Take a deep breath. 

Let it go… 

Literally and figuratively. 

The balloon is now out of sight. You know that you have done what you could. 

You may or may not get what you wish from someone. It just may not happen. And you have to be okay with that.

Because there’s not a damn thing you can do to change it once you’ve appealed to that person in your most earnest of pleas. Said your apologies. Voiced your hope.

It’s like chasing a dream. You might grab the tail end of it, but the rest of it remains as illusive as fog. And you can’t grab hold of fog. 

So if it doesn’t happen, what you want from the bottom of your heart…

You’ve. Got. To. Let. It. Go.

As must as it pains you, sends you into paroxysms of tears, prods you to relive the past and ask yourself what you should have done differently, you must move to the next stage of life instead of living with one foot planted firmly in the past. 

Or life, that most tenuous and finite of things, will simply pass you by.

My life isn’t perfect by any stretch of the imagination. But I’ve forgiven, and hope to be forgiven. I’ve let go of the anger I was holding onto, which does nothing but ruin your health and future happiness. 

What I want and what I get are two different things. If what I want from someone comes to me, I will be both immensely relieved and tearfully ecstatic. 

If it doesn’t, I’m not going to fling myself on the pyre.

I live my life in a one bedroom apartment with the pupsters, where I’m far happier than I was in a nice fancy house with granite counter tops and trendy travertine flooring. 

I don’t exactly exude strength, but I’m not fragile either.

I’m grateful for my little spot in the world. It may not be everyone’s cup of tea, but I take coffee anyway. 

My glass is half full, which is a very important place to keep it. For once it becomes half empty, you often have to force yourself to start all over. 

Do not pass Go. Do not collect $200. 

Take several steps back. If your glass is half-empty, you most assuredly have some work to do. 

You can’t go back in time. You can’t rewrite history.

I’m a big believer in karma. 

It is intention that creates karma.

One definition of Karma: it is the result of our own past actions and our own present doings. We ourselves are responsible for our own happiness and misery. We create our own Heaven. We create our own Hell. We are the architects of our own fate.

…I believe that if you put good out there, then good will come back to you… 

If you build it, they will come…

If you love something, let it go. If it comes back to you, it’s yours forever. If it doesn’t, then it was never meant to be. – Unknown

A balloon might just pop into sight, hovered over the horizon, when you least expect it. And as an unforeseen force sends it closer and closer, you may suddenly realize that it isn’t your balloon. The one you sent out there into the universe.

It just might be someone else’s. Slowly making its way to you. Filled with enough air to keep alive the promise of renewed hope. 

Sit down and wait for it to reach you. Then embrace what you’ve been given. 


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  1. Beautiful words and very much where I am in my life, too. In fact, as I talk with some of my closest friends, we're all at about the same place in our journeys through our lives. I'll be 60 this year and my friends are all closer to 70 but we're all still learning how to make the best of our journey. I like where I 'am' now but I know I still have lots of new things to learn that will allow me to have greater joy when more of life's inevitable bumps arrive! Thank you for these timely and wise (yes!) words.

    On anothrr note, as someone who also suffers with ankle and foot pain, I'm sure you'll understand how overjoyed I was today when my surgeon allowed me to move into a walking boot (after 6 weeks non-weight bearing in 3 different hard casts.) I'm allowed weight bearing as tolerated, which unfortunately, isn't quite happening yet. But it will. And if it doesn't, that will be a life 'bump' to be dealt with.

  2. You have a way with words. It is so true that you can't change some things in life but you can change how you feel. I am glad that you are at peace with your life. Hugs

  3. I like that – You've. Got. To. Let. It. Go. – words I've also learned to do. It's not easy but is possible and brings such a peace when you do. Happy New Year, Brenda!!

  4. Oh Brenda, While I read your beautiful post my head was saying yes, yes and I would read a little further and again yes, yes, yes. And that is the way my entire reading went. I have closed 2015 with an entirely new mindset that sounds very similar to your journey. I am a strong believer that "Happiness Is A Choice". In my last post I wrote, "Personally, my year was filled with a wide spectrum of emotions ranging from distress to "pure and simple" happiness. Learning (really learning) that happiness is a choice that takes a lot of work. And, I am so thankful that I have been given the necessary strength and wisdom. Continued happiness to you friend.

  5. I love this post and can relate to it in so many ways. Sounds like we are both going through a similar process. Thank you for your openness and honesty. I truly appreciate it.

  6. Brenda, your post has truly touched my heart. Thank you!
    This is going to sound very selfish! I'm no longer going to stress about things I can't control; no longer going to stress about those who judge me (not my problem); no longer going to stress about what others expect me to do or say (no more people pleasing because it's expected). In other words I'm finally putting Me first. Once I made these decisions I felt so much peace in my heart and soul. Here's to us, Brenda!

  7. At times in our lives I think we are afraid of happiness…of letting it into our hearts for fear of it leaving, but we have to let it touch us….I have also been learning to let go this past year of anger and fear….it is hard to do but it sure feels better when I do….I hope your happiness continues to hold you close in its arms

    1. Once it shines its rays of light on your face, you don't want to lose it, that's true. Letting go of negative feelings has been one of the most freeing things I've experienced.

  8. You my dearest, have summed this all up articulately, beautifully and graciously.
    I would add my thoughts to this beautiful post.
    But they would serve no purpose.
    You are in a beautiful place-where the sun shines, the road rises to greet you and the glass is indeed one half full.

  9. Good post Brenda. I think we have to do our best and then let go. As you say the ball is in the others court now. I am trying to let go of so many things I cannot change nor control. More peace is needed in my life also.

    1. I didn't realize how fervently I was trying to keep control of things. How desperately I was trying to change other people. When I am the only person I have any control over. I am the only person I can change.

  10. Glad happiness has settled on your shoulders like a well worn sweater-so glad I met you and looking forward to 2016 and getting to know you better! Great read!

  11. You could have been speaking about my sister and me. Except you didn't mention that a toxic relationship is one balloon you definitely don't want to fall back to earth…

    1. We have to hope that things and people change. Just as we do. There are a lot of things I've done in life that I'm not proud of. But I'm not going to continue to beat myself over the head with it. There is no purpose to that but futility.

    1. I was thinking about family and people I knew in the past that floated past me like a fall leaf and then were gone. Sometimes I think that's the way it is supposed to be. Drifters and shadows, touching us and then leaving. I was thinking about my daughter, who I love and always will love, who can't (now) accept me as part of her life. But there is always the hope that one day, she will want her mother. And I will always answer that call, no matter how long it takes to come. If it ever does come. Because she will always be that baby I held in my arms and fell in love with.

  12. Brenda, you will never know how much this post means to me… I hope to take these words to heart and move on with my life… It may not be the life I dreamed of… But it is a pretty good life, just different… I may not have all I wanted, but I have more than what I need to be happy… Thank you… Have a blessed New Year…

    1. When I was young, I would think, "when this happens, I will be happy." And then would come, and it wouldn't be what I'd hoped. No, it may not be the life we dreamed of. But yes, it is a pretty darned good life. More than we need. It is enough.

  13. Brenda, you are truly a talented writer. It's posts like this that prove to be life changing for me. I will ponder your powerful words for days. Thank you for inspiring me to rethink life itself…

    1. Sometimes words just fall onto the laptop, seemingly from nowhere. But obviously from somewhere. And I'm grateful to have them, a body of water that keeps bringing things up to lay on the sand and be found.

  14. I believe you have the holy ghost working inside of you now Brenda…he is the one making you feel at peace and having things come to you as they should now…God works in mysterious ways but he has always been working for you from day one…he knew the time was now that you would accept it…no better feeling in this world…you must of been praying to our heavenly father…it shows…love you Brenda! so happy for you too!!!

    1. I like to think that I am the driver of my own karma. And that it is me who adjusts the sails and makes sure the boat is on course.

  15. My sweet friend, you have come so far the last few years, and I sense such a new peace within you. I think that as we age and come to the realization that this life doesn't go on forever, we come to an understanding of just how important it is to let go and live. You are doing that and it is wonderful to see. xo Laura

    1. From the depths of despair to a new outlook in four years time. Or I should probably say, 58 years time. No one promised us a rose garden. Or tomorrow or the next day. Yesterday is already gone. Tomorrow is round the bend. Got to live today.

    1. All my life I've been searching for something that didn't even exist. Happiness doesn't come in packages or new houses or new cars or new clothing. Nothing and no one can "make" you happy. That is simply a fallacy.

  16. Hi Brenda,
    You have hit the nail on the head once again. I love this post. I'm so happy you have found peace. You have had a journey and it is not over. Thank you for your words. MY life changes everyday and I love to see what is going to happen next. This year I will be 75 in June and I am looking forward to the next part of my journey. I don't know when it will end, but I am going to blog along. Thank you again for blogging about life and everything else.

    1. Seventy-five wise years of beauty and memories. Your outlook on life is a wondrous thing. I do hope you blog along. It is our journal. And it is our journey.

  17. I can tell you've been doing your "work" Brenda 🙂 This wisdom you impart is so important to come to terms with on our personal journeys. I have been in the process of excavating myself from the rubble (guilt, shame, family influences, etc.) and am slowly becoming the person I want to be (at 54 years of age.) Thank you for sharing…this will inspire many!

    1. I love how you worded it; excavating yourself from the rubble. Like an earthquake, we sometimes find our lives in shambles, and wonder where on earth to start cleaning it all up. I am becoming the person I want to be also, and it is a good feeling. It is peace and acceptance.

  18. You are truly a gifted writer, Brenda. This is an incredibly thought provoking post. I'm so delighted that you have let happiness into your life…and into your heart.

    1. And it was there waiting all the time for me to see it. It wasn't a vibrant sunset or a colorful rainbow. It was the quiet moments that make up the hours that make up the days that are our lives. It is the little things we take for granted. Happiness is a state of mind.

    2. If you can sit and hear silence, you have made it…in other words, if your brain isn't always working, trying to sort through lifes messes, trying to defend a point, trying to solve some problem (that shouldn't be a problem to begin with) you have made it to a place of contentment.
      We may not have lots of stuff, a busy social life, but we have our sanity, our self-respect, and no warring emotions..I have been fighting desperately to get to that place in my life!
      I am convinced, this year, I am getting to a place, finally, that anyone or anything that takes my peace away will be removed, no thank you, don't come back, not interested!
      All I want is to hear silence…..

  19. Wow! Very powerful words. You keep so much expectations inside of yourself and sometimes you set yourself for failure. Why can't we just be. Be happy for God given life. I'm about your age and certainly agree, especially after the last few years, I can't change the past. But now, today, I'm trying real hard to be kinder to myself. Alot of guilt for having my sister helping our mom and I'm not there, I live out of state. Just talked to my sister and then my husband about mom. I tell you, having a dog on your lap sure helps with stress. Then I read this post, so true Brenda. Trying to let go with the guilt, so hard.
    Kathleen in Az

    1. Yes, we do set ourselves up for failure. Sometimes we want and ask for too much. Guilt is also a time suck. Try to come to terms with it as best you can. It is hard, but as you say, with a dog on your lap, the world just appears to be more beautiful.

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