August 4

I Did It My Way

August 4, 2014

Personal Growth

As I counsel with people, perhaps the most common word I hear in the beginning is BUT, which is followed a recitation of what they think, what they’ve always done, and more. Sylvia, for example, described to me the nightmare of her marriage and children, and when I began to speak, she said, “But—“

I interrupted. “You’re about to tell me how you’ve always done this, and how my way won’t work.”

“Well . . .”

“Yes, in other words. You’ve had forty years to try it ‘your way,’ have you not?”

“Well, I guess so.”

“After forty years, would you call your way successful?”

“I suppose not.”

We struggle so hard to protect what we’ve learned and invested emotionally and otherwise for a lifetime, even if the end result is not desirable. Ironically, we’re not even living life “our way.” We’re living a way of life we were taught—by parents, teachers, family members, and others. We’re actually living THEIR way. What a waste to continue with ANY way that doesn’t work.

Frank Sinatra sang a ballad with the refrain, “I did it my way,” and almost uniformly people refer to the message of that song with pride or envy. We want to do it “our way,” as though that course would make us some kind of hero, even though our path has led only to unhappiness.

I choose to “do it” the loving way, the peaceful way, the happy way. Along that path is infinitely more joy.

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