One of my favorite quotes that has stayed with me through the years, was one in Sound of Music, by Maria : "When the Lord closes one door, somewhere He opens a window."
Life is full of lost and new opportunities.
I recently lost the man I loved due to my stubbornness, immaturity, and inability to let go of expectations that I played in my head. But do I wallow in self-pity and guilt, or even anger, forever? No! Life's challenges are chances for us to grow into better persons. In my reflections and reading, I discovered the mistakes I had made, and learnt to simply live in the moment, letting go of imposed (self, or external) expectations. Now I know that many of my mistakes were due to my perfectionist character, my fear of being alone or abandoned (how ironic, huh?), my insecurities, and projecting a need for love on someone else. I am learning to forgive myself, and am unafraid to admit that I was wrong.
The biggest lesson I learnt: Only when you love yourself, can you truly love another, and fully accept love from another.
Now that I accept my own imperfections, I am learning to love myself more, and will be able to better reciprocate the next one who comes along.
Stepping forward into the unknown, and being able to accept your past, takes courage and strength in character. You don't have to do it all in a day, but learning to take baby steps* , and making that first step, is a huge step forward (remember Neil Armstrong's quote? **). Be receptive to opportunities that come along, but do not beat yourself up over missed opportunities either! Everyday we face choices in life, love, and work. Sometimes you have to let go of something you have been doing forever, sometimes it lets you go. When that happens, don't let yourself panic for too long. Simply remind yourself to make full use of each chosen path (less room for future regret), and enjoy the process.
Life is a constant gift of improving and learning to become that fabulous person you will eventually become, so that when you finally sit in that rocking chair when you are eighty, you can look back and smile. =)
** Suggested Read! "One small step can change your life, The Kaizen Way" by Robert Maurer.
** "One small step for a man, one giant leap for mankind"