I guess at some point most of us think that we can have whatever we want in life. I know I used to. I looked for the magical answer that would bring me the life I wanted. You name it – I tried it. Crystals, Feng Shui, prayer and meditation, and visualisation.
Visualisation – that’s a big one. But I’ll write more about that later.
Even since I knew Kirby and I would never have children I thought I could have the life I wanted. I negotiated with life, I thought if I can’t have kids then I would compromise and think about what else I wanted and then I could have a life that encompassed that instead.
It seems crazy to me now. I don’t, personally, believe that things happen to us on purpose to teach us things, but sometimes you can learn something anyway and I know one of the lessons I took away from not having children is that life isn’t going to hand me what I want just because I want it. It has just taken me a while to really understand this.
And back to visualisation. There are many self-help “gurus” around who say that we can have the life we want by using visualisation and just making it happen. It’s curious that the lives they suggest we can have all involve big houses, expensive cars, and a lot of money – and how the tickets for the seminars these people run are generally a couple of hundred dollars each, if not more.
To me – it’s kind of cultish. It’s getting people to pay lots of money to someone who is going to tell them they can have it all – when no one, ever, can really have it all. So, they are selling a lie.
Wow! That sucks...
We who have not been able to have children know very well that we can’t have it all no matter what we do or try or visualise. And, this means there are quite possibly other things we can’t have either – for example, a dream of mine is to climb Mount Everest (seriously!), but I am unlikely to ever do it because I have a heart murmur and a hole in my heart.
I would like to travel the world for a year or two, but that means I couldn’t have my pets – I want both! But, I can’t have both.
I want people I care about to get better – but some of them never will again.
Now that I’ve accepted that I can’t control every aspect of my life and there will never be a point where I have everything I want and I will live happily ever after I have found a sense of happiness I didn’t expect. Sounds strange, doesn’t it…
I’ve read a book recently called “The Antidote: Happiness for People Who Can’t Stand PositiveThinking” by Oliver Burkeman. And I get it. By being realistic I can focus on what is here, now, rather than waiting or striving for something that is never going to happen. And by focussing on what is here and now I appreciate the smaller things rather than constantly waiting and hoping for the bigger things to happen.
That doesn’t mean I don’t have goals or don’t push myself in certain directions – for example, I might not be able to climb Mount Everest, but I fully intend to go on treks in Tasmania, and in the Himalayas at a lower altitude. I’m starting training to do this very soon.
I’ve put a short poem about my feelings about not having it all on a postcard which you can feel free to download and share.