Tracks In The Dust

A Father's Advice About Learning the Mission of Life

Archive for the tag “Reality Check”

What is Left Behind

We are all aware of the saying ” you can’t take it with you”. Over a lifetime [short or long as it may be], we can accumulate a lot of possessions. We can collect a lot of things that help to define who we are personally, along with the junk that really is meaningless in the scheme of things.

Loves Condition

But  these days more than ever, I realize that it’s not about what I own, and certainly what will happen to it when I’m no longer on this earth. It will fall into the path of history, perhaps be landfill, or someone else’s accumulated prize.

Can I worry about the things I have left behind? Perhaps because I don’t want it to burden my loved ones or anyone else. But spending days worrying about it would be worthless worry. So there you have it. Unless you are a hermit, or you purge yourself of everything you own. You’re going to leave things behind for someone else to deal with.

Rather than “things”, I think more about the people that will I will leave behind. They will continue to live their lives to the fullest, God willing. Our kids will continue to grow as adults, to manage through the very same human complications that made up my daily life.. My wife has been my genuine companion and the love of my life for over 35 years, and I have promised to love her always and forever. It is likely that there will come a day that I will not be there for her, yet our lives are from our mutual love and friendship.

Both my wife and I realize we are rich because of the friendships we have in our lives, those we have come to know recently, as well as those we have been fortunate to call friends over the decades, There are so many. And they are there today sending kind words and thoughts, and sharing in prayer.

There is hope for the future. And what left behind is a future of the legacy of the people in your life. It makes life meaningful. It is the paths crossed, the words said, the friendships and relationships that have changed the course of our lives. That is what means the most. The invested time with friends and family will be everyone’s legacy. It will be God’s legacy.

For that I’m grateful and not sad. I am optimistic about the future for me and for everyone else.It is that legacy is what gets all of us through life with meaning, isn’t it? The legacy and the richness of family, friendships and God’s promise of eternity. That will make what ever happens be okay.

 

If Your Eyes Could Speak What Would They Say?

I think we can all admit honestly that our true self, that self that is what is inside isn’t always what appears outside. We are certainly different in public than we are in private. Some more than others, “what you see is what you get” has degree’s of variations.

closed-eye

We all have degree’s of pain, suffering, sadness, in our lives. Moments ( or days) of uncertainty that can lead us down paths we may never have considered at some other time. That influences who we are, as does those times of happiness and joy, those moments to embrace what we have been given and be thankful, those times when love is so overwhelming in our lives that little else matters.  They all make up the complex person our lifetime allows us to be.

The outside self many times seems to be insulated in hiding our emotions. We will mask our thoughts because we are unsure, or lack confidence to be truthful with others about who we are inside.  There are times we don’t want to share because that may expose a part of our hearts or minds that would make us vulnerable or allow us to be cast aside or ignored.

In the end you can see it in people’s eyes. I see it when I am out in pubic, when I am at work. There are many people who speak confidently, but in their eyes they seem lost. Unable to determine what is really important in their lives, they are “in the moment”  perhaps, but there are things missing.  No spiritual center most likely, no introspective self. Maybe they just mask it so well, perhaps from years of practice.

So it can be refreshing sometimes. To meet those genuine people. You can just tell it, and they emit something that tells you that they are more than face-value. You can see it in their eyes. It is within them.

Not big on Beatles covers, but love this rendition by Patti Smith.

“We were talking about the space between us all,”  Within You and Without You

Hindsight

It’s pretty much a simple fact: Personal bias can cloud your thinking. Things are complicated and unpredictable, but perhaps more than we wish to admit, we rewrite the past to fit into the script of our lives.

Owls

 

It seems better that way doesn’t it?  In our better life viewed in hindsight. We have to be careful though. We should face the future without using our clouded hindsight and make sure we understand what’s in store.

It’s not to say that we shouldn’t  apply lessons we have learned. The risk is when we apply the versions of the past that we have come to fashion ourselves. For our own sanity perhaps. Just a way to keep it together.

So as we step forward into tomorrow, I think it is wise that we are clear on how we got to “here” – but be sure we are at the very least honest with ourselves. Our inside reality should be applied.

Kids: Take the time to make good decisions, but base them on what you  know to be your own  real truth. Don’t use the cloudy script that may help to fit your story. Be sure you can be true to yourself.

Just my advice.

Detachment or Indifference?

No doubt there are many reasons to be concerned about the world’s issues. Throughout history there has been focused attention on the separation of cultures, religious beliefs, power and money. There are many reasons I can say I care, but overall I can say that I have become less interested.

Charting The Course

A travesty you say? How can you be so unfeeling? How can you not  personally care about the hate,greed and malice of the world around us? People insist that you HAVE to care about the political landscape – you must have an opinion and you better well be landing on the one that whomever you are talking to is passionate about. There is this sense of urgency to be “correct”.

Sorry to disappoint, but I am likely to say that the battle of with cancer has led me to be more detached more than indifferent. .
Many things don’t  take the same priority as  they it once did.
Oliver Sacks from the New York Times recently said in an article on his diagnosis of terminal cancer at aged 81:”Seeing life from a great altitude. This detachment to things that belong to the future. The future will be left in great hands in some cases.”

Honestly I have gotten much closer to God (perhaps the greater altitude) and the meaning of my future, and that future to me means eternity. But the future here on Earth is going to go on without me. And I have to accept that day will come, as it will for each and every one of us.

So am I indifferent? No. I would like to see more people have peace in their lives, to save their temper for the fight against the deterioration of the human condition. Perhaps that would be worth some passion…

Lessons Learned Over Time

There’s this song by The Faces which sings about “I wish I knew what I know now when I was younger”. Now I understand the wisdom of age, but when I was young I was certain I had life figured out. I know now that you can get off course from your younger plans.

Moon

Off course: That our ideals are sometimes replaced by practicality, that the dreams are sometimes effected by the reality, that life is full of things to embrace but we often run away from them because of our doubt and uncertainty that they are the right things to be embracing.

So there are lessons learned, and like many of my friends and relatives who are with me on the downhill side of the hill, we have a more complete view of the course we have taken. We can see the victories and the mistakes, the failures and the missed opportunities. But life is still good for many of us. It has its priceless golden moments, it has the love of family and friends.

I have learned many lessons only by my experience. Did someone tell me these things when I was younger? Well yeah, maybe and I just didn’t grasp it. A few of them:


  • Not going to have a positive life hanging around negative people. One of my sons truly understands this and maybe better than I. It’s kind of obvious, but we often blindly don’t see it.  I want to tell my kids over and over, be certain that you are surrounded by people who are positive, who don’t want to shape you like them but let you be who you are. Worth repeating.
  • If something is broke, fix it… don’t just throw it out.  We give up very quickly on some things in life that perhaps we shouldn’t. Like friendships, marriages, diets or breaking bad habits.  In today’s disposable society I can understand I guess. Just get a new one. Problem is that it costs something – and not always money- to make that work. We don’t think of that right away.
  • Time is relative only to you and what you do with it. It is the premise of http://www.tracksinthedust.com. TIme goes fast and dust will shift and your footprints will be gone. But the passage of your time on Earth is what you make of it. Time isn’t really real, it is your part in the spinning world and what you believe will happen after you are gone from it that will make a difference in your life.

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