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Tuesday, March 29, 2016

"You can't always get what you want."

Get What You Need

Life is like a ride through an old amusement park fun house.”
Maggie Buck (Science of Mind, 2009)

There's an old Rolling Stones song that goes:

You can't always get what you want.
You can't always get what you want.
But if you try sometimes, you just might find,
You get what you need.”

Think back to when you were twelve—how did you think your life would look going forward? I wanted to be a doctor. I discovered, when I made a D in Chemistry, and was deeply grateful for that D, that medical school was a little out of reach. Then I thought I might try nursing, but four years as a Candy Striper taught me I wasn't cut out for that either. Long story short, I've had five different careers in my life and I'm still looking.

Most of us, myself included, get quite upset and irritated when life doesn't give us what we want. We rant and rave about unfairness, about betrayal, about how hard we've worked, how nobody understands us, and so forth and so on. We feel terribly sorry for ourselves, deprived as we are of our just desserts. We spend some time depressed, deflated and, in general, miserable. But life is patient. It waits until we've spent ourselves grieving the injustice of our plight, and when we're done, it hands us the next chapter. Life will have its way.

Life is, in fact, like a fun house ride. It twists here and there, most of it in the dark. Along the way, unexpected things jump out or fall onto the tracks, and at points, we plunge into the abyss. Life happens on its own terms. If we can buckle our seat belts and let go of control, we sometimes find that where it takes us is even better than what we had planned. It's entirely possible that life isn't structured to give us what we want; instead, it gives us what we need. Some of what it gives us is really hard to take; it wears us down to a nub. But some of what it gives us is absolutely golden. We must learn to take the good with the bad, and receive them both as friends.

                                                   In the Spirit,

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