It's one of my favorite movies. Not because of how great a movie it is, but rather because of what it means to me. I very much identify with Russ, the character played by Bruce Willis.
In truth, I am a man who gave up childhood dreams in an attempt to please and gain the support of others.
Over the years, many of the people I admire most are those who pursued their childhood passions, despite the criticism of others, and achieved a sense of satisfaction and joy in life not experienced by many. I chose that the need for acceptance and validation from others was more important than developing the personal discipline to pursue my dream . . . my real calling.
I do regret making that decision. It was the wrong decision. I can see that clearly now. I am glad, however, that I have some time, wisdom and maturity on my side . . . and I know there is still time for a dream or two.
I shared several years ago the journey I took as I struggled dealing with the approach of my 50th birthday. Now, two years later, I find that I have more easily allowed myself to identify and address the things in my life I love the most . . . my passions . . . a couple which relate to my childhood and adolescence. The last two years have been a time of reflection . . . reflection which includes pain and remorse about past decisions, but also reflecting on a sense of personal recovery . . . as I find myself gaining strength in my understanding of what is most important to me . . . knowing who I am and what I am.
My personal and life mission has become more clear . . . and focused. There are still a few things I want to do, and it looks like one of them may materialize in 2010. My list of things I can say "no" to grows and grows. The distractions are still there, those things that would try to take me away from my understanding how I am "fearfully and wonderfully made." But as I continue gaining a clearer understanding of where my focus and interest lies . . . and the reasons why, I find saying not to the distractions becomes easier and easier. Distraction which in the past could pull me away from my path . . . they no longer have any effect on me. Some distraction . . . still . . . are a struggle. But saying to them comes easier.
Regrets? Sure . . . a bunch of them. Most especially I regret not telling certain people in my childhood, adolescence and early adulthood these three words. . . "It's MY life!" But then, back then I wasn't strong enough to do that. Today, I am.
God's grace still amazes me . . . ><>