Every Day Is A Crossroad
Written By: Mark Smith
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Last Saturday I arrived at the airport at 5am bleary eyed but excited for a flight to Miami for a cruise with my two college kids. I love everything about cruises, but I especially love the back of the boat! Late at night I love to reflect, feel, pray and write as I watch the majestic wake as wide as three football fields. For some reason the beauty of the wake feels spiritual to me. This poem just came out of me within minutes of sitting down above the sacred wake the first night of the cruise. I hadn't at all planned to write about the urgency of decisions in every day life. Here is what came up...
every day is a crossroad
to take the high path
every day is a crossroad
to lose your true footing
wasting your best self
in slow imperceptible dying
every day is a crossroad
manufacturing your destiny
with every breath
and intention of your heart
What is your high path? What gifts and potentials are you honing that will give back and bless all the days of your future? What callings make your heart beat fast and make getting out of bed every day a thrilling adventure? Are you building positive momentum as you move forward towards a better version of you and your destiny? I believe that if you are true and sincere in your efforts and insightful in your work on yourself that life will steadily get much better for you as the years build one upon another.
However, if you are disconnected from your heart and the depth of your soul, you are frequently going to find yourself in the wrong place at the wrong time with the wrong people for the wrong reasons. Step by uneven step you will create a disjointed, empty, incongruent, painful and quite unfulfilling existence.
You won't really know who you are or where you are supposed to be going. Knowing one's self deeply does come at a price though. Along with your deep and accurate connection to who you are and what decisions are clearly right for you, there will also come the painful baggage of being in touch with your unresolved childhood wounds, the messiness of anger that must be voiced in relationships and a very keen and cutting knowledge of your worst failings and flaws. It is a mixed bag to be sure. In the short run, it is definitely much less painful to be numb, oblivious, addictive and self-medicating. In the long run of a whole life, disconnected living comes with the exorbitant price tag of self destroyed potential, wasted talents, devastated loved ones and a life lived in discontentment and unhappiness. Addictive choices can cause you your marriage. They can destroy your finances. They can shock and wound your children. They can take things away that you can never get back. Thankfully, a healthy Recovery process can and will eventually reward you with more blessings and happiness then you have ever had before.
By 'Recovery' I mean knowing the stone cold truth about your issues and then working on them effectively. Plan B can eventually become better in most ways than plan A. It is a long painful path to re-building though. You will need to want to make things right really badly.
I wish that I could tell you that Recovery was a glorious sprint up a mountain, but the truth is that at times it is three steps forward and two back, or even five back for that matter. It is possible and even easy to get off track.
Once you get your body and your finances in order your relationship can blow up in your face. Then you address your relationship and you start eating too much in an effort to soothe and comfort yourself. Or you go on a cruise and your food addiction can't help but perk up a bit. What can you do? Or a parent dies and that breaks off a deep piece of work that sends you spiraling. Or an old dormant, seemingly conquered addiction inexpicably springs back to life. You get the picture. Recovery can be a bit like the old Chucky Cheese game 'Whack a Mole'. There is always the possibility of something else popping up.
Addicts refer to the process of addiction as baffling and cunning and they are certainly right about that. You have to guard your heart, be open to feedback and be vigilant to not allow blind spots to get too big. In spite of the many challenges, a passionate Recovery process will get you up the mountain eventually. So much can be learned and gained even from slippages. It is all good. I know I say that a lot, but it is true.
So value today. Treat it with respect. That is my new favorite word. In Jamacia a wood working merchant said 'Respect' to me after I bought a cheesy wooden motorcycle from him.
It made me feel good. Respect every minute of your life. Bring your 'A' game to every single sunrise. Be fierce in your vision, focus and discipline. Your choices today will build blessing, promise and help to others or they will slap you in reverse, instill fear and hurt everyone around you. Change happens slowly.
Soldier on doing right things and some fine day you will plant the flag of self-actualization at the pinnacle of your personal mountain of Recovery, achieved potential and yes, even greatness. It can happen. Plan on it! Believe it and picture exactly what it looks like in your life. Every day is a crossroad. Enjoy and fully experience every step of your unique journey. Respect!
On my last day at sea another poem came up for me out of nowhere. It is one of the most enjoyable pieces that I have ever written. Passions make life rich and worth living. Healthy people make time for play and heart felt passions. I wish you several facinating, pulsating, consuming passions that give back to you far more than you ever invest in them. It is very much part of taking high paths in life and infusing positive energy into your life. This is an ode to one of the oldest and most wonderful love affairs that I have ever been blessed enough to be involved with. My love affair with the game of basketball.
I met you when I was just 13
Watching the Kokomo WildKats at the Memorial Gymnasium
That's who I want to be
Red, white and blue, flash and dash
By far the coolest thing I had ever seen
I nursed on the milk of street ball
Playing til dark, drenched in sweat
Black from asphalt, exhausted
Dreaming of glory days
That never quite fully came
I started my senior year
Super hero in silky warm ups
Killing it in the Wigwam
But losing...Ultimately to the sons of my future home
I have loved you now for 39 years
My passion, my devotion
Every year gets sweeter still than the one before
I danced and played and laughed all THIS afternoon
Very much like I was just 13
You give me joy, good friends, a healthy body
And endless magical moments
I love you with everything that is in me
I am so very grateful to an unofficial ambassador and champion
Of this game I love so dearly
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