Life is a Revelation…be encouraged


In the distant past, Susie and I were having an argument. It was one of those adult relationship type of arguments, where you furiously disagree about something, and it reaches the point where you stop communicating.

We were on our way to see a play. Whatever we were squabbling about, each of us at the moment thought it was dreadfully important because we were in misery. For those of you who live alone in a cave (obviously with an internet connection), this occurs when you thoroughly despise the idea of hearing another utterance from the one you have chosen to spend the rest of your life with.

I had parked the car and we were walking toward the theater. Of course, we did not walk close to one another. In fact, we showed no indication at all we were madly in love with one another and would willingly, without hesitation, lie down on our lives for each other, if it ever came to that. At the time, each of us was completely assured of our own rightness, which in the universal adult relationship code means that we could not touch, nor look at one another as we walked, to do so would have signaled weakness, and that was not going to happen. We pondered how the other could so stupid and still figure out how to combine breathing  and the act of putting one foot in front of the other, at the same time. I’m sure as we made our way in the midst of streaming foot traffic, the air around us chilled a few degrees due to our icy indifference of one another. As couples walked by us, I am certain they secretly thought, “Please God, don’t let our relationship end up like those two.”

We continued to walk along in perfect venomous lockstep, when suddenly Susie stopped. This only focused my anger even more. In a nanosecond I was running through my mind various sarcastic questions I could shoot at her for this unexplainable moronic behavior. As I was lost in this train of thinking, I heard her say, “Look, we are at a fork in the road!” I tore my thoughts away from the flawless verbal comeback I had already decided upon and followed her gaze to this silver-colored fork lying in front of us on the sidewalk. We stood there for a moment like we had suddenly been touched in a game of freeze tag…then we looked at each other and burst into silly giggling, snorting, and overall cackling.  We laughed like two little kids…and then suddenly…everything that had gone on only seconds before was gone.

We collapsed into a full body embrace. In the middle of a busy sidewalk, in downtown Indianapolis, I held the love of my life as tight as I could. We kissed long and hard, grateful for the touch of one another’s lips. We walked the remaining blocks to the show arm in arm, with her head gently resting on my shoulder.

To this day, neither one of us remember what we were arguing about.

Take a moment and think about your angers, your worries, the elements of life that drive you to fear and/or frustration. We all have them. They are quite real. They cause us pain and stress. They rob us of the life we want. Many times they literally steal away years from us. They imprison us and hold us captive, just as real as any hand cuffs or leg shackles.

I don’t know why a simple fork in the middle of the sidewalk, in a busy city, would work such a miracle. Nor do I have the exact wisdom or knowledge to step you free of everything that holds you captive. But I did learn something that early evening so many years ago…whatever it was I was worried about then…and everything I’ve been worried about since…needs to be put in perspective.

Be encouraged!

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71 thoughts on “Perspective

  1. i love this post, so true, so helpful ! thank you 🙂 best regards from france !

    • Sandra, my dear, what time is it in your fair city?…I am an insomniac, hence my reason for being up at nearly 4:00 am…thanks for your comment…much love and many blessings to you…be encouraged!

      • Stephen in my city Metz we have lot of snow ! i would love live in california 🙂 sun all the year what a dream ! next summer i will move in Paris ! I’m happy to soon live in the big city 🙂 hope that you can take a rest today 🙂 don’t forget ! take care of you !

      • Sandra…snow (and cold) is just God’s way of telling His people they ought not to live there…lol…summer in Paris…how wonderful…I hope you enjoy every second of it…be encouraged!

      • i will 🙂 2013 is for me a new beginning ! new life, new city, new job what a revelation 🙂 hope the same energy to you and i wish you success with your book , i will surely make a post on my blog if you agree 🙂

      • Of course I agree…I will send you a copy as soon as we get it published…be encouraged!

      • thank you 🙂

  2. yogawithmaheshwari on said:

    Love this post 🙂

  3. Excellent post, Stephen. So well told. So well said.

  4. OneHotMess on said:

    I absolutely loved this post, Stephen. All of my love to you and Susie!

  5. A gripping life on said:

    I was already giggling before you got to the fork in the road. I had a funny feeling, knowing you and Susie, that this would end in laughter. What a great story, Stephen. Those are the best moments – when we realize how absurd we are and we’re able to step back and put it in perspective. To the degree that you were both pissy is to the degree that you became hysterical. Hahaha!
    Great post.
    Have a beautiful day!!

  6. Stephen, I love the literal fork in the road! It says a lot about the two of you in how you responded to that fork. What a great post!

    • We have often wished we would have picked up and kept it…little did we realize at the time that 14 years later we would still be talking about it…life can be odd at times…thanks for the kind words Karen…much love from all of us…be encouraged!

  7. Ahhh .. fabulous post. We all know it, if we’ve been in a relationship long enough. The ego is a tough taskmaster – doesn’t want to give up, Not One Inch! I know it well. I don’t know when, in the course of over 20 years, my husband and I began swallowing our impulse to torch one another to the ground at times like these, but once one or the other of us witnessed one or ther other laying down the ego in this way – when we observed (and still observe) one or the other being willing to conceded defeat first, it was a huge transformation in the way we handle life’s little ups and downs. And for this, I am most grateful. As is he 😉

  8. Stephen, thank you for an inspirational story about you and Susie. It’s as always very well written, and at the same time a lesson for all of us to think about. It made me think of what I tell my clients, family and friends about being angry, and argue. Thanks to you, I am going to write a post about. Thank you my friend, :). Sunny greetings to all of you! // Marianne

    • It is amazing how transforming small experiences can be…once while driving I just thought, “I don’t need to defend my own turf.”…It was just one simple short sentence, but it has completely changed how Susie and I (plus the Gang of 5) relate to one another…We hope you are having a wonderful time in Fuji…and please remember…when you are in these warm climes, we are available as assistants, secretaries, or just general gofers…much love from all of us to you…be encouraged!

  9. How often do we get into this situation? I can recall a couple of weeks ago…some silly thing we were arguing…and all of a sudden I said….”Do you realize we’re sitting here in the car arguing over ……….. and how ridiculous it is in the scheme of our lives?” My husband became quiet as did I for a couple of minutes and then got out of the car and carried on…. In this case there was no hug…just a realization of the silliness of it…. I can’t remember what it was about either; that’s why I left it blank…. Diane

    • I know exactly what you mean…kind of weird how these little things can suddenly take on so much importance and then die off just as quickly…thanks Diane for taking the time to write…always wonderful to hear from you…much love and many blessings from all of us to you and yours…be encouraged!

  10. Wonderful post. Fabulous. Uplifting! Heartwarming.

  11. Excellent in all aspects. Thanks for this post. HF

  12. Great post! 🙂

  13. This is so true. Having a bigger perspective in mind is important. I find that paying attention to the details while also focusing on the larger picture is difficult. Great post ! Nice narrative 🙂

    • It is that bigger perspective that throws me…God how I love tunnel vision…lol…Hey, thanks for taking the time to write…I think this was your first time and it was great to hear from you…much love and many blessings to you and yours from Susie, the Gang of 5, and me…be encouraged!

  14. Stephen, thanks for sharing this personal story. Makes me resolve to open my awareness for similar signs and serendipity when my communication skills crash and burn. I need this wisdom story!

    • This actually happened several years…Susie and I think it happened over 10 years ago, but we can’t remember exactly when…what we do know is that it still resonates with us today…we have a couple (thousand) more stories to tell so stay tuned…and btw Mike…we are greatly humbled and appreciative that one of our stories has had a positive impact in your life…much love to you and yours…be encouraged!

  15. Beautiful and inspiring post! And so descriptive of what marriage is like. With the lowest lows often followed immediately by the most wonderful of highs. Thanks for sharing this. 🙂

    • The trick is to try to even out those lows and still keep all the highs coming…we still make sure we work on it and it seems to be working…and we are grateful…thanks for taking the time to write…we love hearing from folks…be encouraged!

  16. It does end up being about the perspective we take on situations… Enjoyed this. 🙂

  17. I recognize myself in your story. Thank you for the mirror!

  18. What an amazing story. And your description of the way you walked while you were angry at each other was so intuitive and spot on. Well done.

    • We had practiced that walk many times…fortunately we don’t use it any more…lol…have a wonderful evening and thanks for taking a moment to comment…be encouraged!

      • I have a book coming out either this fall or in the spring called “101 Tips for a Happier Marriage.” If I remember, when the time comes, I’ll give you the amazon link, if you’re interested. Not that it sounds like you need it! But you might find it encouraging, regardless.

      • Of course we want the amazon link…not because we may or may not need your book (although we probably do…or most definitely I do…lol), but because it gives us the opportunity to support you as a writer…how cool is that!…be encouraged!

      • Awh, thanks so much! I just have to remember several months down the line when it comes out! Well, I’ll probably write a post about it. Scratch that. I will most definitely write a post about! Hopefully you’ll see it, and I’ll be off the hook! Keep your eyes peeled. 😉

      • Eyes will be peeled…be encouraged!

  19. Every married couple needs to read this! I am the type of fighter that fights for the control because in my past I so did not have it! Now I am married to someone who gives me enough rope to hang myself and more and he is learning that if he just lets me alone, (if I am wrong lol) I will always come back and apologize. But be sarcastic, push me harder and I will push back. But seriously, why are we fighting? Why am I? I mean I know because of my past. But…Your story does put it all in perspective perfectly!

    • We understanding fighting…me more than her…I was a class A fighting, screaming, bitch, piss, and moan artist…until I gave it all up…now I can’t even imagine raising my voice…I like it better this way…and so does my wife…best wishes, many blessings, and much love to you and yours…be encouraged!

      • I am encouraged! Everytime I see your photo and think I am not going to run/walk today, I remember you and tie my shoes, crank up my ipod and walk out the door! I loved this perspective piece and I had to come back to say that I am working on the not raising my voice part now. Seee you have encouraged me from the inside out! Why you have so many following your journey! Thank you my friend!

      • Most people use my photo to repel vampires, stray dogs and Jehovah Witnesses from their front door…I’m thankful you have found yet another use for it.

        In the background of that photo (which I am sure is really hard to see) is the Sierra Mountains which I had just run through, coming out of South Lake Tahoe (where there was snow everywhere) and into Carson City, Nevada (where it was 74 degrees)…I was in the midst of a 3160 mile run across America…lots of fun!

        So have fun running, but be very careful…because out of absolutely no where you may develop this overpowering urge to take off across the country.

        Be encouraged!

  20. Thank you very much .

  21. I loved your story, so sweet. Great message

  22. The mental health people say we must change our perspective because it’s all how you look at things. The jerks. When your house burns down whattaya spoze to say ? “Oh dear, this is a growth experience” ?

    • Well this is probably gonna piss you off…but yeah you could say that…we had a tree come down through our roof in the middle of high wind driven thunderstorm…within ten minutes my neighbors (the closest one lives 1/4 mile away) and I were out in the yard, soaked to the bone, getting blown around like rag dolls, and dodging falling tree limbs, while we secured a huge tarp one of them had yanked off his boat and brought over…my wife warmed up some chili, the wives brought dry clothes, and we all set around our fire place, told tall tales, and rode out the rest of the storm…we hired a young man who was recommended by another neighbor to do the repairs and he turned out to be one of those construction geniuses who can fix or build literally anything…since his repairs on our home we have used him multiple times to do the add-on, replace a damaged log (we have a log home) and several of our friends have hired him to work on their homes also…did it suck when the tree came crashing through our metal roof into the office, yeah it did…but it did turn out to be a growth experience for all our neighbors who came to help (this happened several years ago and we still all talk about it) and for the young man who has since made several tens of thousands of dollars from all the work generated by referrals.

      I understand it wears a little thin when people look at a car wreck with lives lost and declare a “growth experience” is in the making…but I’ve been surprised more than once by how things turn out when I think they are headed for doomsday.

      Sorry about the length of this reply…hope I haven’t bored you to tears…or made you mad…if we ever had the chance to set down by the fireplace and talk I’m thinking we would both have a pretty good time…

      Be encouraged!

  23. AnElephantCant think of anything clever to say
    This happens time after time
    But he wants you to know
    That he likes you and so
    He says hello with this silly rhyme

  24. What an amazing and wonderful story, enhanced by your photo of the fork in the road. Yes, it’s love that makes the world go round! Thanks too for following my blog.

  25. Hi Stephen

    What a great story! I took the fork in the road metaphorically. You could carry on being entrenched …… or you could take the other way, a fit of the giggles and look where that lead …

    One of my favourite poems of all time is the Robert Frost “The Road less Travelled”. I’m sure you know it.

    Can”t remember it all, but it starts with the two roads in the wood, and ends with “I took the one less travelled by”.

    Your fork reminded me of it! xx

    • Also one of my favorite poems…grateful you enjoyed the post…Susie and I still giggle when we think about it…plus we are thankful for the lesson that still brings us close after all these years…be encouraged!

  26. That’s such a good post, my friend. I love the lesson of perspective that I keep relearning over and over again. Paulette

    • That event actually happened close to 20 years ago and Susie and I still laugh about…we’ve been amazed at what an impact it has had in our lives…and we are thrilled beyond belief to share it with others…be encouraged!

  27. Stephen, I read your post this morning at breakfast, and as my husband got up to leave the kitchen I asked him if he would like to read a romantic story. He said “sure”, and commenced reading your wonderful post. He, as I, thought you are a terrific writer and told a universal story in a memorable way.

    Thank you.

    • Ohhh…I’m not sure I would hazard to read my writing while consuming food…that could be a dangerous combination…like oil and water…the Democrats and hanging chads…or Julius Ceasar and one not-so-close friend…but it sounds as if you got away unscathed this time…you must be living right.

      Susie and I are grateful you enjoyed the post…and we thank you for sharing your little story with us…it warms our hearts to know we are the vessels of blessings to others…be encouraged!

  28. Aren’t those kind of fights something? We haven’t had one like that for a very long time. I think some of it is when you live closely and love deeply the other person is too often a too easy target in the way. Each of us just has to experience all that life feeling, sort it out to be maybe a better human, and who else is there around to take our angers, worries, hurts?

  29. Pingback: Perspective | OPTIMUM LEVEL Performance

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