“Hard is trying to rebuild yourself piece by piece, with no instruction book, and no clue as to where all the important bits are supposed to go.”
Nick Hornby (A Long Way Home)
I have taken to buying old patterns for sewing simply because I can read them and understand what the directions mean. Things like “Baste the waist edge of front and back to prevent stretching,” I get, but things like “Baste the two sides together, turn inside out and top stitch to the dart,” say, what? Sometimes I think the instructions on modern patterns are bad translations from Martian. At least, in my senility, I have trouble following them. Have you tried to put anything together lately? You end up with a handful of extraneous parts—mystery parts, I call them, because you have no idea where they were supposed to go.
Starting over in life, regardless of the reason, is kind of like trying to follow instructions written in a language you don't speak. And, we're always starting anew—after a divorce, after a job loss, going back to school, when someone you love dies, when you retire—all these events change who you are, and how you operate in the world. You may have been around for a while, have done this before, but starting over is always a different animal, and almost never easy. And, we do want easy, don't we? We want whatever change we're confronting to come with clear instructions, illustrations that make sense, and a guaranteed outcome. We want to know before we start that we're going to succeed. Unfortunately, most of life doesn't work that way.
Rainier Maria Rilke said this: “Let life happen to you. Believe me: life is always in the right, always.” Helen Keller said: “Life is either a daring adventure or nothing.” Life is the path, it is the teacher, it is the best and wisest mentor. It will teach you all you need to know, sometimes joyfully, sometimes painfully, always challenging you and pushing you forward. According the Michael J. Singer, “This path of using life to evolve spiritually is truly the highest path.” Trust the universe to take you where you need to be, and then get going.
In the Spirit,