Wednesday, April 21, 2010


Once you say you're going to settle for second, that's what happens to you in life."

~ President John F Kennedy~
You have a great deal of time to think while supervising your ceiling repairs.  It seems the upstairs commode had a leak that shattered the downstairs ceiling.  Okay, suffice it to say it was a mess, an inconvenience, and expensive. I watched the hole cut out of the ceiling, nearly gagged at the huge mess pulled out of the hole, to  discover quite soon that my toilet upstairs was sitting in the center of my bedroom at the foot of the bed. And to make it more fun I was having a dinner party for eight in just six hours. 
But it wasn't a catastrophe! I responded to the entire situation quite differently than I once would have.  I was calm.  It quite simply wasn't a big deal.  I joked with the repair crew and went about my day.  I stepped over plastic-covered furniture, floors and walls.  I watched three dogs track through the mess on the floor and spread it to the rest of the house (which had just been cleaned the day before). 
I temporarily left the chaos of the morning to go to a business lunch and found shelter on a beautiful sunny terrace at an Italian restaurant.  The perfect place to enjoy portabella stuffed ravioli with friends.  It was most civilized until we discovered someone had thrown a stray dog over the fence and she was starving and terrified.  So much for lunch.  Then a trip to the closest veterinary hospital to check for a microchip.  Not surprising, there was none.
You need not hear the rest of the story as it isn't germane to this blog.  But so you can sleep tonight, yes the dog is fine and her new name is Dixie and secondly, no, she is not living with me.
What is important is that while supervising the ceiling I felt as though I was simply an observer.  Have you ever felt that way?  Totally helpless - watching but not participating?  Wanting to help but having no idea how.  Surveying, scrutinizing, examining, and studying the ceiling.  You can let it 'be,' or you can 'worry it' to death.  You can supervise, question, make suggestions, but to what end?  Sometimes we have to let go and let someone who knows what they are doing take over.  Sometimes we have to let go period.  To complete a task or an unresolved problem sometimes we have to let go. We need to do those things we know how to do and leave the ceilings to someone else.
It is in the tearing apart that we discover the new.  It is in the cleaning up the messes we have made in our lives that we discover what we are made of.  It is in the discovery that we risk and grow and move on to something more fulfilling and beautiful than we ever imagined.  It is then that we leave a place where we are in neutral and find life waiting.  If we settle for second best that is exactly what we get and deserve.  If we go for the gold, we might find it has been right under our nose all the time. 
So if your ceiling falls or your world is falling apart, supervise by stepping back, observing, let go of what you can let go of and step out in faith that you are being guided in a new direction, a better direction, and to a place where, not only the ceiling, but the foundation is stronger and better than ever before. 

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