Do-Overs

Annah Elizabeth 1 Comment

I had nearly completed a post earlier today, when I accidentally deleted the text, while typing a new word. As I watched the letter “r” appear in the blank box, I saw the “saving…” notice at the bottom. My index finger dove for the escape key. Success was not to be mine.

I have enjoyed the automatic save feature because I become so engrossed in what I am writing that I frequently forget to save as I go along. I’ve lost many a file that way. Today, however, that feature created a new experience for me. Now I will likely type my posts as a Word document, then copy and paste into the blog…

The earlier post cited examples of how successful people have used the Five Facets to triumph over tragedy and adversity. Once that information evaporated, something else surfaced in its place.

My first reaction to my lost post was to groan (actually, it was more like teeth gnashing at my computer). Rather than take my frustration out on my computer keyboard, I went for a walk with my son and our Husky.

The cool breeze and bright sunlight (not to mention the pounding of my feet on the pavement) eased my tension. On the return quarter-mile, I thought how glad I am for the opportunity to redo the post, to begin anew.

Quite often, we do have the opportunity to make amends, to start fresh, to right wrongs. And, yet, when possible, we need to proceed as if we will not have another chance. Kris Allen’s recent hit tells us to “Live like we are dying,” Tim McGraw has a song by a similar title.

And then there are a number of sayings to reinforce this belief: “Tomorrow’s not guaranteed,” and “Live each day as if it were your last,” are only a couple.

That thought led me to think about an Oprah article I came across today. In my drawer of notes, I found Susan Klebold’s story, “I’ll Never Know Why,” as published in O magazine, circa November, 2009. Susan’s poignant reflection of the events prior to, during, and after the Columbine tragedy are hauntingly poetic and heart-wrenching.

In her last paragraph, Susan states, “For the rest of my life, I will be haunted by the horror and anguish Dylan caused. I cannot look at a child in a grocery store or on the street without thinking about how my son’s schoolmates spent the last moments of their lives. Dylan changed everything I believed about my self, about God, about family, and about love. I think I believed that if I loved someone as deeply as I loved him, I would know if he were in trouble. My maternal instincts would keep him safe. But I didn’t know. And my instincts weren’t enough. And the fact that I never saw tragedy coming is still almost inconceivable to me. I only hope my story can help those who can still be helped. I hope that, by reading of my experience, someone will see what I missed.”

There is no do-over for Dylan, his family, nor for the families impacted by the event. There is no do-over for drunk drivers culpable of killing, nor for the loved ones left behind.

There is no do-over for those of us who do not forgive, who do not let go of our anger at others, before their deaths. There is no do-over for persons who commit adultery. This list is as endless as the times which we do have second chances.

For those times when we are not afforded opportunity to complete second, or multiple attempts, we must somehow reconcile our conflicts. We must find a way to accept our circumstances, to lift our shoulders, raise our chins, and begin anew.

For even though we cannot alter or change the past, we can direct our future. We can choose to learn from the events of our past, to accept them for what they were, assimilate them into our present and future lives in a positive manner.

How each of us arrives at that ability will differ. Each of our strengths lie differently within the Five Facets, molded by blends of different experiences.

Regardless, however, we each have all Five Facets at our disposal. Those same Facets that contribute to our grief and distress, will propel our healing, if we choose that path.

If we make it our mission to heal, to recognize that each and every minute can be the start of something new. Regardless of our situation or circumstance, we each have the ability to turn our pain into promise…

Soon…

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