Betty J. Slade



    Standing on the Edge

    A friend told me he purchased a spotless detailed, beautiful red 1957 Chevy with chrome wheels from a widow. My friend’s comment to her was “Your late husband must have spent hundred of hours on this car.”

    Her response was, “Yes, he did. I wished I had the time spent.”

    When I heard this, it nailed me to the wall. I knew I had been guilty of the same thing; spending more time with the things I love to do rather than spending time with the ones I love.

    I believe we all live in our own forest; thick green mangled foliage of creativity. It is also called self-centeredness. We haven’t entered into other’s lives or their story because we are so attached to ours.

    I am sure many people around me have felt the same way as the widow felt. I am guilty and I am not sure how to change. I am not sure if I want to come out of my deep luscious forest I’ve created for myself. I like it how it is.

    I can’t see the trees for the forest or is it, I can’t see the forest for the trees? I’ve laughed when I said it and thought I needed to step away from my all –encompassing life. I get so attached, and in so doing I have become detached from others I love.

    Apparently the widow saw more clearly than her husband did, but it was too late.

    In order to be attached to the moment, to be aware of the lives of those who we genuinely care about, we must enter into their story; their problems and joy and even be willing to be a part of their solution. We are determined to read life as we see it instead of feeling the spirit of the moment. It’s a great way to escape from reality, but it also presents another problem, self-absorption.

    Self-absorption is the wall I have built around me. I realized I have done this to people. This is an edge. It takes time to get involved into another’s life. I’d rather be writing and painting than be the answer for someone else’s problem. As I write this, I wonder if I want to change.

    We can remain in the forest, live among the trees and not see them, or we can step outside the forest, into the edge of a bigger opening, where we can see clearly before it is too late.

    Everyone has their edge, they come up to it and change their mind. We have a choice to stay dwarfed by the trees or move out into the clearing.

    Life will put us in the moment and on the edge of something we haven’t done before. As we choose to step inside the moment, we experience something new. We push through the fear and find the thrill.

    As we enter into someone else’s story, and become a part of the way life has written their book, we get a better view of them and ultimately ourselves.

    The widow sold the car her late husband left behind. It was not that important to her. She would have rather had a few more minutes with him. Someone else is driving his car and enjoying the time he spent.

    Final Brushstroke! The edge will take us to the end of ourselves and the beginning of someone else and it will always bring a new horizon.

    “We are built to conquer environment, solve problems, achieve goals, and we find no real satisfaction or happiness in life without obstacles to conquer and goals to achieve.” Maxwell Maltz, Author


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