Have you ever had an “Ah Ha” experience? It is when the proverbial light bulb suddenly goes on in your brain to illuminate some concept or idea, which until that very moment, had lived in the dark. It flashes out of nowhere. One moment you are lost, the next you have a complete grasp of exactly what it is you are trying to comprehend. Usually the experience leaves you mildly delighted with yourself and is a natural mood elevator.
“A moment’s insight is sometimes worth a life’s experience”
Oliver Wendell Holmes
Author & Physician
This is exactly what happened to me in a hotel room inColumbia,Missourinearly twenty years ago. Most people sing in the shower, I on the other hand, changed my life’s destiny. I had stepped into the shower without any preconceived thought of altering every aspect of my life. I was just going to do what showers are designed for, take a shower. I was in a hurry. I had an appointment and I didn’t want to be late. So I turned on the water, checked it to make sure it was not too hot or too cold, stepped in, and grabbed the soap. It was at that moment the earth metaphysically turned a corner. As the mind will sometimes do, I began to think about a variety of things, all running single track, at light speed. The thoughts began to coalesce into images of my life’s actions. I started to see not only the actions, but also their affects. I began to understand the terrible results coming from my preoccupation with only myself. Not that I was spending the time staring into my navel. I was using and abusing people. I felt the searing pain I caused to those who had tried to love me. Nothing in my life mattered except making it easy, comfortable, and financially solid. I cared not one wit about the people around me, in the slang of today, it was all about me.
Then the thoughts began to move ahead. Every time I had ever been in jail there was always this one old guy. Sometimes it was the same guy, sometimes it would be a different guy, but the story was always the same. They (the police) had popped him this time, but he was working on something (he couldn’t share the details with you, but he assured you it was good) that would be the big score. It would always be successful. It would always be relatively easy. It would always allow them to be “set” for the rest of their lives.
Except the truth was, it never worked out. When I would see them again, they would always dismiss it by saying, “Oh yeah, that was nothing, but I’ve got a score I’m working that is going to change everything. They are not going to see me in here again.” I wasn’t old (whatever that is), yet I could clearly see our paths where one and the same.
I could also see the long range outcome of the direction I was going. I knew either long term incarceration or premature death (my hand or someone else’s) awaited me.
I staggered out of shower, dripping water across the floor, as I fell into the bed. I began to cry and weep. The hot tears flowed as though there was no end. My soul was shattered by the way I treated those closest to me. The wrenching agony I had caused. I felt gutted. There was a white-hot searing pain from deep within me. I struggled even to breathe, which was something I didn’t believe I deserved.
It was there I made a decision as my wet body lay stretched out across the bed, with tears flowing down my face, gasping for every breath. I sat up. I took the towel and wiped off my face. With every ounce of will in my body I determined to change my life around. Whatever it took, I would do. Whatever change would be needed, I would do. Whatever whatever would be needed, I would do. There was no force or obstacle that could keep me from becoming a different person. A whole person. Someone of worth. An individual who could/would/should change.
I don’t know the type of life you are living. Maybe you are one of the gifted ones, who has it all together. Hopefully you are not the way I was. Possibly you are somewhere in between the two. Wherever you may be in life, you have the ability to get better. You already have all it takes to move upward. Within you resides the raw materials for building something great. I’m not saying it will be easy. It won’t. I’m not saying there won’t be setbacks. There will be. I ‘m not saying all the people who are currently around you will stay. More than likely they will not.
What I am saying is deep within the person you currently are lives each and everything you need to move forward in your life. To create the type of person you innately know you are meant to be. You can love. You can be loved. You can give and receive grace and forgiveness. You can be great. You can be awesome.
Why you ask? Because that is why you were born! You were not born to live in addiction, angst, pain, suffering, loneliness, heartache, or anything else hurtful. You were born to laugh, smile, enjoy, have pride and self-esteem, to love and be loved, to give forgiveness and receive forgiveness, and everything else you can think of that brings a smile to your lips.
Do it! Change your life. Change your business. Change yourself.