Words of Wisdom

Just wanted to share some words of wisdom from my dad, which I didn’t appreciate enough at the time.

Two wrongs don’t make a right

I was really upset about a Mean Girl at school and came home in a black fury, spewing venemous threats of violence against her and how she was going to pay for that. My dad heard all the ruckus and asked what on Earth had me so upset; I explained the situation and through my tears of hurt and anger, I plotted my revenge and the bloodlust drowned out any humanity I may have possessed. My dad (used to this and thus unfazed) explained to me that just because she was mean didn’t give me license to abandon my morals and “get in the gutter” with her. He went on to explain that evil works that way; it appeals to the ego, the vanity of the person and lures you down a road of hate, violence and loss of compassion or reason. “Two wrongs don’t make a right, Michelle, no matter what your reasoning. Be the bigger person; turn the other cheek and forgive them or you will be the one who suffers, not her” were his words of wisdom to me. Easier said than done, which leads me to

Anything worth having won’t be easily gotten 

I wanted to learn how to work the speed bag (always trying to keep up with my brothers) but it was difficult; my knuckles were red and sore, my arms were tired and felt like lead. I was two seconds away from bursting into tears when my dad came in. He took one look at me and told me to come outside with him so we could talk about it.He explained to me that the things that come to us easily are not necessarily good things; anything that is worth having will require hard work, dedication and a desire to overcome all the obstacles keeping us from what we want. He said this will help me to realize what is important and what is not. If I am not willing to the hard work, I will only make it so far before I encounter some difficulty; if I turn around and go back, I have accomplished nothing but taken a leisurely stroll and then came back, empty handed. But if I dig in and do the hard work, get through the obstacle, I will reach my goal and I will have the confidence that comes with overcoming obstacles, facing fears and standing strong. A half an hour later, I went back into the family room determined to master the speed bag, no matter how bloody, bruised and painful my hands became. And I did.

There are many, many more but these are the ones I find truth in even today, especially after the events around the world that have been unfolding and will continue to do so.

“Resentment is like drinking poison then hoping it will kill your enemies” -Nelson Mandela

(Reality) Check Please!

If you’ve been reading this blog for very long (or at all) you have probably gotten a fairly good grasp of how my little brain works. Sometimes it tends to get stuck on a particular thought or something (some would call this an obsession or fixation, I just call it serious thought) and I just can’t shake it. Thank God for my best friend in times such as these. This woman should get the Purple Heart, Medal of Honor and a host of other symbols in recognition of her friendship and for walking beside me through the minefield that is my world. For someone who is blessedly free of mental health issues, she is unfailingly supportive of my “special wiring” and even though I’m certain she’d love nothing more than me to be free of such burdens, she has never made me feel like less of a person because of it. I can’t use it as a get-out-of-jail-free card, though. She will call me on my shit faster than anyone I know and always with good reason. I seriously don’t think I would be here today if it wasn’t for her friendship and her bravery in the face of Manic Michelle – something no one should have to endure. I know there are things that some people feel that a mental health disorders are deal-breakers, usual somewhere in the Top Five. To find a friend that accepts you, warts and all, is a wonderful thing and a rarity, from what I’ve experienced.

Today I had something happen that really “got my Irish up” and before I opened my mouth or let my fingers fly in a flurry of e-mails and insults, I had the foresight (thank God) to check in with my friend. She didn’t say I was being stupid or blowing stuff out of proportion, but she did give me what she always gives me when I ask; an ear to bend, a shoulder to cry on and some really good, sensible advice. It may seem like a really small thing to do, but when I’m feeling like tearing the walls down with my bare hands to get to someone’s neck, it’s a big deal to get some perspective from someone who is walking more on the sane side of the street. My friend is usually on that side of the street, even though she’s got a full life, complete with kids, sporting events, practices, proms, a hubby & the whole career thing going on. She manages to do all the things her life demands and still have time to listen to my cries for help, heartfelt tears because someone has (in my mind) been mean or hurtful, pick me up off the floor when I’ve given up and administer a serious dose of tough love when all else fails. I admire her more than I could ever say and I wish to have her in my world as long as humanly possible. At least long enough for me to return the favor of being a real and true friend all these years…..decades actually, but who’s counting?

So, I asked for and recieved my reality check and while my day is still not fluttering butterflies and serenading knights, I feel like I’m closer to joining my friend on the sane side of the street. That, my friends, is truly priceless.

Happy Friday!!