4065 “Life Takes Us Further Than We Think”

"Life Takes Us Further Than We Think" - LEANING TOWARD WISDOM Podcast Episode 4065
Rocky, aka Huey

Love isn’t easy. But no love is harder.

Time, it’s a straight line with no exit at the end. Well, actually there is an end to time. It’s death.

I ought to know how to let go — it ain’t easy.

Life Takes Us Further Than We Think

I still remember every moment that we spent together. Okay, I don’t remember every moment we spent together, but I remember an awful lot of them. And that’s good enough.

When you’re talking about friendship.

That’s the subject of today’s show, close friendships. The kind that helps you walk through the storms of life and celebrate the sunshiny days. It can be a person. It can be a dog. In my case, a White West Highland Terrier named Rocky (who we often call Huey).

First let me tell you why this is important for me. It just might make it more important to you.

For starters, when we think about love and marriage…friendship is often missing and that makes those relationships falter. Some couples started out as friends first. Others had to learn to become friends after first becoming lovers. And some never developed the friendship needed to grow really close.

Secondly, I know what it is to have a friend with whom you can share anything. Somebody who believes in you so strongly that nothing weakens their confidence in you. Somebody who shares your values with unwavering steadfastness.

Thirdly, close friends will go miles with you. And for you. And you’ll do the same for them without any regard for the expense. It’s just what you do because you’re friends.

Fourthly, a close friend is sometimes not a person at all, but a pet. Particularly, a dog. A sweet, kindly dispositioned and friendly dog who knows only unconditional love and fondness.

This isn’t the stuff of social sharing. It’s got nothing to do with Facebook likes. Or texting a funny gif.

I love these modern technology connector tools, but they don’t make for close friendships. Not the ones I’m talking about. But close friends can sure use them to drive connections even deeper. I hope you’re using them for that, and not as a substitute for meaningful friendship. Rocky doesn’t have a smart phone, but if he did I know he’d be quite reserved in using it. He much prefers closeness. Rocky is a proximity friend who loves being near me (or Rhonda).

“Hey, I’m moving in a few weeks. Do you think you could help me?”

Those are good friends to have, but that’s not what I’m talking about either. I’m talking more about the guy who knows you’re moving and when…and they show up to help because they’ve been telling you all along, “I’ll be there.” You never think to ask. They never think of not helping. If the shoe were on the other foot, you’d be there for them. In the exact same way.

He calls you in the night with a problem. You’re 8 hours away. You pack a quick bag and within 10 minutes of the phone call you’re off. Not because you told him you’d be, but because he couldn’t stop you if he tried.

He ambles into the Yellow Studio because he knows you’re likely in there. In the last year or so his hearing and eyesight have faltered, but he can still find you, plop down within 3 feet of you and fall asleep in no time. A very random belly rub is more reward than he ever expects. And a daily treat at breakfast and bedtime. He’s so undemanding. The best kind of friend!

A week ago I noticed a weirdness on a front tooth. A closer examination showed a bulge has enveloped a few teeth. An infection? I don’t know.

Rosie and Rocky
Rosie and Rocky in younger times

A trip to the vet revealed what we feared. Cancer. More likely than not. He’s 15. So is his sister, Rosie (aka Rosebud).

Jon’s hounds – mother and daughter

Are you a dog person? You don’t have to be to understand the high value of relationships. My dogs are never far from me, even when I’m recording podcasts. Jon Buscall is a friend in Stockholm. He’s got hounds. My studio is The Yellow Studio because of the color of the walls. Jon’s studio is the Dog House Studio because the hounds are always under foot.

It would cost over $1,500 to find out for sure. We love Rocky, but he’s got cataracts and hearing is growing increasingly difficult. Except for this new issue – cancer in his mouth – and the aforementioned disabilities, he’s strong and healthy. And alert. He comes from good stock. A quality breeder of Westies in the Houston area had a long bloodline of quality Westie dogs. Not one of those breed ’em for money kind of breeders, but a breed them because we love them kind.

I’ve lost close friends, including my closest lifelong friend. I’ve lost pets – dogs – too. Nothing ventured, nothing gained. Nothing gained, nothing lost. It’s a high value proposition.

Life takes us further than we think. 

Right now Rocky’s quality of life is still very good. The vet said he may do well for a good long while, or he may decline sooner than later. The day we got the news, Rhonda and I both agreed, we’re not going to delay the inevitable end once we see him begin to decline. A week of no appetite may be the only sign we need. This isn’t our first loss-of-a-friend rodeo. I’ve clung on too long in the past and regretted it.

Pets. People. Places.

Not necessarily in that order…but they matter. They help define the quality of our lives.

Not money. Not things. Stuff. Not prestige.

Leaning Toward Wisdom is about growth. Greater awareness. Deeper insight. Sober reflection.

It’s about connecting the dots on what matters the most. It’s about being better.

I watch Rocky try to gain his bearings, knowing his sight and hearing are impaired. He sits in the back yard looking around and I know it’s hard. He’s only seeing shadows and big movements these days. The days of spotting squirrels and chasing them…those are behind him now. He never was very quick. Or as energetic as Rosie. Like me and Rhonda – Rocky and Rosie are growing older. In dog years they’re way ahead of us at 105. We over half their age, but we’re still getting old. All of us. Together.

Life has indeed taken us further than we thought.

Sometimes it works in reverse. A few weeks ago a tornado hit the little town of Van, Texas. Van is east of Dallas. Our whole part of the state has been hit hard with thunderstorms and tornados this Spring. The storm hit killing the owner of what’s believed to be an 8-year-old Great Pyrenees dog. The dog was severely injured due to being thrown around. Hurt, the dog found her owner and crawled under her arms. Unaware that her owner was dead, Emma (her new adopted name) sought comfort. She knew where to go. A comfortable, familiar friend.

I spent months and months searching for these two furry friends. Going to dog shows reminiscent of a poor man’s Best In Show, a movie that was released about the time they were born. A local Westie rescue honcho urged me to buy a pair – something I’d never done before. But we’d never owned Terriers before either. Turned out it was great advice. That rescue honcho also put me onto a breeder in south Texas with a stellar reputation.

After going through a process as rigorous as child adoption (including photos of our home and our yard, and personal information about how we lived our life), we were given the opportunity to buy a brother and sister. We loaded them into the crate, put them in the back of my Acura Integra Type R and raced up the Interstate to come back home. They’ve been here ever since. Never far from each other. Never far from us.

The Places Only Matter Because Of The Friends

When my children were small we took them to a place where Rhonda and I first dated. It was a little town in Oklahoma where an annual church meeting was held every 4th of July. People from all over the country would converge on this small town each year. We drove by the meeting place on a fall or winter day. It was empty. They were unimpressed, but I explained that it wasn’t the place that was so special — it was the people who came to that place that made it special. Without the people, it was just an empty, quiet place.

All the scenic places where people travel may be special, but they’re made more special by the people who were there with us. As pretty, tranquil or majestic a place may be…it’s memorable because of friends. Or family. People make the difference. Dogs, too.

M. Lynwood Smith's home
A quaint house in Mississippi (and a cat)

Quaint houses costing less than a moderately priced luxury car hold memories for me. Not because of any special features like marble floors, or granite countertops, but because of the people and animals who once occupied those spaces.

That picture of a small frame house is in Mississippi. It was the home of an old preacher friend – named Lynwood – who passed away some years ago. He’d perch on that green piece of porch furniture and look down the lane. I suspect he’d feed that cat ’cause that cat was hanging around when we visited this house following the funeral of my friend.

Lynwood never lived anywhere else. One home. Simple. Plain. No frills. Maybe it was the nature of his work, preaching. But it was more. He had friends all over the country. Meanwhile, back home he had his front porch. The lane. Maybe that cat.

When I took my son to see his house after the funeral, it brought back lots of memories of him…but he was gone. It wasn’t the same. We had just sat through a touching memorial service to bid our farewells.

A few years ago Rhonda had a breast cancer scare. She lost her mother to it not long after we were married. She was only 43. I remember when Rhonda reached an age her mother never did. Weird moments in life. But as we prepared for Rhonda to have a biopsy I remember fear unlike any other fear. Not a panic. More like a large looming, unavoidable destruction. A hopelessness. I’ve gone on record that one of my biggest fears is losing her, forced to go it alone the rest of the way. 

Goodbyes are hard when the value is high. When value is low, we casually wave and we’re gone. Out of sight. Out of mind.

Rocky has been part of our lives for over 15 years, and counting. Lynwood was part of my life since my birth. I was 50 when he died. Stanley, a lifelong friend, was part of my life since birth. I was almost 56 when he passed. Loss stings more because of the gain.

Life takes us further than we think. 

When relationships begin – whether with dogs or people – we don’t know what the future will look like. We take a chance. I’m told it’s easier for some than others. You know, commitment issues and all that. I never suffered that problem. My problem is just the opposite. When I decide to go in, I go all in. Without much reservation. Now that doesn’t mean I jump in, but it means when I do decide to jump, I don’t hesitate. My hesitation is all pre-jump hesitation.

Here were are celebrating Memorial Day weekend in America. It’s a time when people place fresh flowers on the graves of loved ones. It’s primarily a time when our nation recognizes the price paid by military veterans who gave their lives in service to our country. People remember those who have passed on during a weekend like this…or they go the lake, drink alcohol and behave foolishly. Well, some do.

I don’t go to the lake. I don’t drink. I can act foolishly enough without putting myself in harm’s way. I do, however, remember. Memorial Day weekend is unnecessary for me. I can remember without a designated day.

But this isn’t really about the limitations of life. It’s not about the sadness of endings. It’s about the memory of the thrills, sorrows and joys that we’ve all been able to experience.

David Letterman inserted some lingo into my vocabulary years ago. Among them, his famous sign off – “Goodnight, everybody!” Dave said goodnight on Wednesday. Thirty three years was enough. He felt like it was time to put it to an end. Like millions of others, I was there at the beginning…laughing at the antics. Many of us had grown up watching Johnny Carson, but he was mostly the guy our parents watched. But we – the kids – watched, too. Dave was OUR GUY though. Snarky. Unassuming. Entertainingly indifferent. And now, it’s over!

I’m good with it though. Mostly because I’m thankful that when I was in my mid-20’s a guy like Dave came onto the scene and gave me countless hours of laughter plus lots of smiles. “Hey, kids,” has been part of my speech for over 30 years thanks to Dave. Today, as an older guy it just fits even better than it did when I was in my 20’s or 30’s. Is it sad to see things end? Is it sad to know that Rocky’s time with us is limited?

Life has taken us further than we first thought.

Fifteen years ago I didn’t see this time coming. I had no idea what was coming. Rocky and Rosie were our first terriers. Our first pair of dogs. We’ve been the only parents they’ve know. Our house, the only home they’ve known. They know every inch of our house and our yard. They’ve barked at and chased at countless squirrels whose life spans were much shorter than theirs. They’ve seen all four grand kids. Time will tell if they’ll see our fifth, expected in early August. They learned to swim to safety in our pool…instantly rubbing themselves in the grass and up against the bricks of the house. Hundreds of thousands of trips in and out the dog doors, they’ve been part of our home since we rescued them from the Houston humidity. We’re all they know. And it makes me smile knowing that.

I’m happy to have had our time together. Of all the dogs – the many breeds and the many sources – we found this brother and sister. How many other relationships in life are just like that though? My lifelong friendship with Stanley happened through no effort on our part. It just seemed destined to happen.

Lynwood entered my life in much the same way. It was was what it was. Sure, like any relationship we have to foster these things, but the opportunities present themselves. We see them for the value they provide, or we don’t. Today, I’m grateful for the ones I took advantage. I’m not sad at the loss. I’m thankful for the value.

I’m sad for the opportunities I may have missed. What people have I overlooked? What friendships have I missed?

I didn’t miss Rocky and Rosie. I didn’t miss Stan, or Lynwood. Or Dave. My life is filled with relationships I didn’t miss. Some lasted a few years. Others for decades.

Dave told the New York Times that he sensed he was more relaxed since deciding to step away.

Because I think there’s a difference between regular-season hockey and playoff hockey. And I’m not in the playoffs.

I’m happy for Dave.

I’m happy that Stan and Lynwood no longer endure the suffering of ill health.

I’m happy for Rocky. Happy he got into our home and hearts. Happy he’s had a good life and still is enjoying life, albeit with less vision and hearing than before.

Mostly, today I’m selfish. I’m happy for myself. My life has experienced higher value because of these relationships. I’m a better person – a better man – because of Rocky, Rosie and all the other animal and human relationships. All the places that are dear to me are tethered to relationships. Sitting in quiet places with a pet dog who would listen to my every problem and spend whatever time I required. Yards and rooms with friends or family where celebrations were held. Floors where knees were bent praying with people – or for people – who mattered most.

I know laughter. I know sorrow. But mostly I know that without the value of these relationships then the loss wouldn’t even be felt. Had I not loved Stanley so much, then what value would our friendship have provided? Where there’s great value there’s great loss – or the anticipation of loss.

Does everything happen for a reason? Or is there just a reason why everything happens? Those are two different questions and viewpoints.

I think there are reasons why things – good or bad – happen. Whether we see it or not, I think we’re all blessed. Our lives are mostly comprised of the choices we make, the opportunities we can spot, the moments we seize.

These days I realize that my life has brought me to this moment. A moment where Rocky is still feeling fine, where I can give him belly rubs, where I can peer to my left and find him on the floor sleeping soundly, snoring slightly.

My life has brought me this moment. A moment where I’m now two years older than my closest friend was ever able to reach.

A moment where I can impact my two grown children, my four grandchildren — soon to be five. A moment where my business and leadership experience can benefit the clients I serve, many of whom are 15 years younger than me.

A moment where I can see how blessed I am to have known, to have influenced, to have been influenced and to have loved the people, places and pets in my life.

Life has taken us further than we thought. And aren’t we glad?


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4064 “Got Too Much Hassle, Baby And Not Enough Bliss” (I’m just trying to get some results)

"Got Too Much Hassle, Baby And Not Enough Bliss" (I'm just trying to get some results) - LEANING TOWARD WISDOM Podcast Episode 4064

I just can’t seem to take much more of this
Got too much hassle, baby and not enough bliss
Got to give these hangers on a miss
‘Cos I need some help, I just don’t get

No one seems to understand what’s up, what’s up
What’s up, so called friends come and go and things
Just don’t add up, trying to make my way through
All this illusion and myth, I don’t even have no safety net

Nero fiddled while Rome burnt
Napoleon met his Waterloo
Samson went spare when Delilah cut his hair
But little David slew Goliath too, oh yeah

I’m just trying to get some results
Listen baby, I’m not trying to start my own cult
Please tell me something that I don’t know
I just wanna get on with the show

Nero fiddled while Rome burnt
Napoleon met his Waterloo
Samson went spare when Delilah cut his hair
But little David slew Goliath too

You’d think some program might do the trick
Let me tell you, this wall of fog is just too thick
I thought of everything but the whip
But baby, nobody on my ship is up to it

I’m just trying to get some results, some results
I’m not trying to start my own cult
No, no, no, no, no, no, no, no, no, no
Just tell me something that I don’t know
I just wanna get on with the show

Gotta, gotta, gotta, gotta
I just wanna get on with the show
Baby, baby, baby, baby
Just tell me something that I don’t know

I just wanna get on with the show
It is better don’t wait than let her go

The song is the tenth track on Van Morrison’s latest record, Duets: Re-Working The Catalogue. He sings this track with Georgie Fame. Georgie Fame is a pseudonym for Clive Powell, a UK blues/jazz singer. This song first appeared as the final track on Van’s 13th studio record, released in 2003, What’s Wrong With This Picture? The song is entitled, Get On With The Show.

Van Morrison is one of those artists who gets my money with every release. He’s among just a few like that for me. He IS The Man because I don’t think he’s ever done poor work. Greatness is the ability to perform consistently over time. Astral Weeks was released in 1968 and it wasn’t his first record. Since then, he’s just been a world-class game changer in the my music collection.

This song serves as the launch pad for today’s show because it speaks to the challenge we’ve all got as we’re working our way toward greater wisdom. Who among us can’t relate to so many of these lyrics, including that first verse?

I just can’t seem to take much more of this
Got too much hassle, baby and not enough bliss
Got to give these hangers on a miss
‘Cos I need some help, I just don’t get

"Got Too Much Hassle, Baby And Not Enough Bliss" (I'm just trying to get some results) - LEANING TOWARD WISDOM Podcast Episode 4064
Life’s a hassle you need to wrassle to the ground.

Life’s A Hassle That You’ve Gotta Wrassle

For longer than I can remember now I’ve been on an insomnia roll. It happens. Usually it doesn’t last this long. A few days ago I remarked to my wife that I didn’t know how much longer I could do this – go without a good night’s sleep. Surprisingly, I’ve found out I can go much further than I thought. You’ve had things happen to you like that. Maybe it was pain. Or some sort of suffering. And you reached a point where you just wanted it to be over. Maybe you remarked, “I just can’t seem to take much more of this.” But you could. You were wrong. Your strength, endurance and resilience turned out to be greater than you thought.

By the way, Saturday I woke up early for a meeting. I got back home from the meeting around 10am. By 11am I was in bed – well, actually on top of the bed – with a flannel blanket…still in my gym clothes because I was planning to hit the gym. Next thing I know it’s after 6pm. I got up, ate some soup and by 9:30pm I was back in bed, calling it a night. Turns out I was right. I couldn’t take it much longer. Saturday was D day – drop day!

It’s not about whining or complaining. We all do that. Some more. Others less. It’s about the contradiction between what we say, or how we feel and the reality. The reality is that most of us can endure much more than we think. But that doesn’t make the hassles fun.

Early one morning weeks ago in a northern suburb of Dallas, somebody found the body of a 14-year-old young man near a busy road. He was a high school freshman who took his own life. These stories aren’t so unfamiliar to us. We’ve heard them before. Maybe we’ve even known somebody who made the same decision to end their life. A decision to avoid the hassles of life. People who did some simple math in their head and figured that life was too much hassle, not enough bliss. And if that weren’t enough, like Van sings, they needed some help they couldn’t get.

When news of this young man’s death hit, the media, including social media, began to do what we saw when news of Robin Williams broke. Lots of listings on people and places who can help if you’re contemplating such a decision in your life. Here’s what’s been posted on many Dallas news sites:

Suicide prevention resources

Do you or someone you know need more information about suicide? Here is a list of hotlines and web sites that offer counseling and resources to help prevent suicide:

National Suicide Prevention Lifeline: Counselors are available 24 hours a day at 1-800-273-TALK (8255) or TTY: 1-800-799-4TTY (4889). A confidential online chat is also available at www.suicidepreventionlifeline.org

So clearly there are some people who lack the resilience to wrassle the hassles of life to the ground. But most of us don’t choose to opt out of life by taking ours. We hang in there. Sure, we may moan and groan that things aren’t better for us, but we keep going. We should always remember that we’re not the only one.

Neuroscientists know that our brain power is substantial. You may not be the sharpest knife in the drawer, but your brain – your thoughts and beliefs – can be powerful forces in your life. Sick people can will themselves to feel better. That doesn’t guarantee health or healing, but it can’t hurt. An old couple is parted by the death of the wife. Within days her otherwise healthy husband joins her in death. He gave up. His grief, thoughts and sorrow were powerful enough to diminish his will to live without her. So he didn’t.

For good or bad, our brains can serve us or hurt us. Part of my quest with this podcast is to provide some hope, optimism and community for our human condition. I’m not the voice of a guy who wears rose colored glasses, or tells you you can do anything or be anything you put your mind to. If I wanted your money, I’d be that guy — because there’s plenty of evidence that people buy that. Maybe they’re ninnies. Maybe not. I rather think a lot of people are willing to pay money for hope. Sometimes unscrupulous vendors prey on that selling delusion disguised as hope. Me? I’m not selling anything other than the honest pursuit of wisdom so we can grow, learn and improve.

So much of online marketing is all about selling the HOPE of making money. Or the opportunity to make more money so you can have a lifestyle that’s better than what you currently experience. But mostly, it’s too much hassle and not enough bliss. Too many failures and not enough successes.

I read that the latest HGTV Dream Home winner was one out of 94 million entries. She and her husband entered twice daily (the maximum amount allowed) every day. Random luck kicked in and she won. 93,999,999 people lost. But all we need is the reality of her winning because our imaginations allow us to project – picturing ourselves – winning. What if WE won? We can simulate that in our head. That thought can compel us to have some hope that it might happen for us. There’s the power of your brain’s ability to hold hope and optimism.

Reverse it though and it’s powerful enough to drive a 14-year-old to take his own life.

Life’s a hassle that we all must wrassle.

Reaching The Critical State Of Admission: “What I’m Doing Isn’t Working.”

This isn’t a beat-yourself-up ordeal. It’s more of an exercise in introspection. Self-examination.

Not everything we try works. Some things stop working even though they once did work. Maybe well.

When we’re doing battle with the hassle, it’s important for us to own our behavior and choices. I didn’t say we should own the outcome. We’re not God. We’re not the behavior or choices of others either. It’s egotistical to think we’re big enough to determine every outcome in our life. Successful people – people who are making lots of money – are fond of telling the rest of us that the reason we’ve not reached their heights of money-making ability is because we’ve got the wrong mindset, or we’re hanging around the wrong people, or we’re not seizing the right opportunities, or we’re doing the wrong things. Maybe. Maybe not.

I know too many stories of people who seemingly did everything right, but some event happened beyond their control that changed everything. Crash and burn. I know other people who stumbled around, did one wrong thing after another, but some event happened beyond their control that changed everything. Lift off and soar. You can’t explain all that. Not logically. It happens.

Hey, if I’m the crash and burn victim I’m gonna blame something or somebody. And I’m likely to be filled with envy and jealousy over the morons who didn’t work half as hard as me, but they’re doing well. And if I’m the success story, well, you must know that I’m quite brilliant and if you’re not able to follow in my footsteps then it’s only because there’s some magic missing from your life, or your process.

It requires strong self-reflection to reach a state of admission where we’re aware that what we’re doing isn’t working. We may not know why it’s not working, but we can still conclude that our choices, our behaviors and our decisions may need to change. The hard part may be to do that without wrassling our own confidence to the mat. We need to wrassle our obstacles down, but not ourselves.

Some things are worth laughing off.

YouTube is filled with videos of stupid people tricks and dumb mishaps. We laugh at them. Mostly because it’s not us. I know I sure feel better knowing there are plenty of people stupider and more foolish than me. Makes me feel pretty smart. But sometimes we slip and fall, or step on a rake. It’s funny. Even if it hurts, we can still laugh.

When our kids were very young they had bunk beds. You know, starting out, being too poor to have separate bedrooms for the kids and all that. I go in to tuck them in bed or something one night and I’m up on the second rung of the ladder dealing with whomever was in that top bunk. I step off the ladder directly onto a toy in the floor and lose my balance, crashing into the wall. The commotion sounded like an elephant had just been felled by the great hunter. Somewhat injured and pride heavily damaged I walk into our bedroom to find Rhonda laughing hysterically. That didn’t help. I wanted to wrassle her to the ground in that moment. Instead,  I wrassled my own pride and once the pain subsided I was able to laugh. It was not a blissful moment.

In time, I owned it. The story was told repeatedly. More than a few dozen times I had to say, “Yep, I did that. Nearly broke my neck, but it provided blissful glee for my wife.” See there. One man’s ceiling is another man’s floor. I hit the floor and Rhonda hit the ceiling with laughter. That’s how our marriage works. I do foolish things. She laughs.

Sometimes I can nail the landing though. So that night, I failed. Okay. It didn’t work out. I got it wrong. It didn’t happen again because the next time, and all the times after that, I checked the landing pad on the floor to make sure it was free from toys and kiddie debris. That’s the power of the realization – “what I’m doing ain’t working.” It helps us fix things.

Without Hassle, How Will Be Recognize Bliss?

We won’t. Troubles, hassles and heart aches make us who we are. I wish it were different. Especially when those hard times come.

I wish great times and prosperity made us better, but they don’t. Not only do hassles help us recognize bliss, they help us achieve it.

Do you remember when you thought, “If I just made $10,000 more a year, I’d have it made?” And you did it. But in no time flat you were right back to where you were before. Ten thousand bucks a year didn’t make all your wildest dreams come true. It’s unlikely that it made any of your wildest dreams come true. It just got absorbed in your every day living.

That’s how life’s hassles work. It’s also how life’s bliss works. Fleeting. Ebb and flow.

Because mostly it’s how we respond to things. It’s our ability to endure hassles and embrace bliss. That sounds awesome, but one of the hardest things is vision – to see things for what value they bring us. Value is deeper than a feeling. It’s benefit. The deeper the benefit the greater the value.

A troubled 14-year old who lacks the maturity to see life’s current problem as merely fleeting may amplify the hassle, finding it impossible to cope. But it can happen to middle aged men like Hunter S. Thompson or Robin Williams, too. Or women. Hassles and bliss respect no one. Neither does resilience or surrender. They happen to all of us. It just is what it is.

Some things you can change and then some things, they just resist. So you change what you can and endure what you can’t. You endure the hassles so you can get to the bliss.

Look for the value in the pain. Make it the kind of pain that benefits you, not hurts you. Like going to the gym working muscles that aren’t yet in shape. Make it a good kind of pain…the kind you know is helping you grow stronger!

The bliss comes knowing you’ve put in the work. Like laying down at the end of a hard day, exhaling deeply and falling off to sleep with the delight of having done good. A good kinda tired.


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