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Cliff Woffenden

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Member Since: Oct, 2007

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The Gift of Life
By Cliff Woffenden   
Rated "G" by the Author.
Last edited: Thursday, October 11, 2007
Posted: Thursday, October 11, 2007

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When you think the Universe is dumping on you, look for the gift in it.

It was one of those days when life had been particularly disappointing. I was in a funk and couldn’t seem to find my smile. So I felt the urge to climb the hill behind the place I was living. It was hot and sunny and I was in a very soft physical condition. By the time I had climbed several hundred feet in elevation, the sweat poured and my breath labored. I came to a trail leading into a clearing. At the edge of the clearing and a steep cliff stood a very old, magnificent fir tree.
What was stunning about this particular fir tree was that it had over two dozen tops. Gnarled, twisted and broken, it looked tortured and tormented, yet very much alive. I stood in wonder of this tree for a long time. I began to feel quite small and my petty, even silly worries and problems melted away. This tree had overcome incredible adversity in its struggle to survive, grow and thrive. In the presence of such an awe inspiring drive to live, how could anybody fail to see what a waist of time complaining can be.
It reminded me of an old hermit I met up in the north country. When I first met this man I was annoyed by how fast and nervously he spoke. But then I noticed there was a strange tone in his voice. Later I learned he had been caught between a loading ramp and a truck. His body was nearly cut in two at the waist. Somehow he was patched back together and had lived alone for the past 30 years in excruciating pain. Yet, not once did he ever mention it or complain. He was so happy to just wake up each day he was not going to let it get him down.
How many people have I met who spend way too much time whining about the lousy hand that life has dealt them? I know I have spent too much time in that space. Standing there in the presence of these two great beings - that tree and that man - I quite clearly saw how depression is only a tantrum we pull on life for not being the way we want it to be.
Life is a precious gift. So why do many of us choose to spit in its face instead of rejoicing in it? Why do we choose to lose ourselves in self indulgence? Someone once asked me, “Oh why is the Universe crapping on my head from a great Height?” I replied, “Who do you think you are that the Universe would bother?”
The egomaniac is not the one who goes around bragging about how wonderful they are (they are just overcompensating for lack of self esteem). The true egomaniac is the one who thinks the Universe has nothing better to do than to make their lives a living hell. They are depressed because they expect life to fulfill their dreams for them. They don’t seem to realize life is a participatory sport.
Besides providing us with life force, the only real job Life has is to reflect back at us what we believe about ourselves. If your life sucks, Life is not to blame. Maybe it is time to take responsibility for ourselves, our beliefs and how we are reacting to life.
In the long run, everything we believe, think, say and do is manifest in our lives. If we are constipated then quite likely we are stuck in some outmoded way of thinking or believing. (This may also cause your toilet to back up if we should suddenly become unstuck.)
Illness and accidents are life’s way of giving us a wake-up call. Free will gives us a choice - to wallow in our suffering or to get off our butts and change our attitudes. It is no surprise to me that the most alive people - those who have learned to embrace life with gusto - have had to overcome great obstacles in their lives and accept their own mortality. It seems we have to be faced with losing our lives before we can appreciate what a gift it is.
It still makes me wonder why we hide in fear of receiving that which we most want - Love, life and happiness. Possibly it is time for God or space aliens to come down to Earth and give humanity a mental enema. In lieu of that, go look in the mirror and smile at yourself - surprisingly hard to do. If you succeed you will look so silly you will have no choice but to laugh at yourself. You might just forget you have problems. Repeat when necessary.
‘Til next time - “What, me worry!”

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