Monday, May 11, 2015

If You Think You Got The Wrong Manual

Someone once said that life would be so much easier if we came with a user's manual. Just think ... whenever something went wrong, or we didn't know how to do something, all we'd have to do is look it up and then we'd know how to fix our lives. Wouldn't that be just great? Or would it? What if we read the manual and it still didn't make sense? Even worse, what if we came with the wrong manual?

I am reminded of the time when I ordered some rose bushes from a catalog and they came with a set of instructions for planting lilacs! With my track record for killing rose bushes, this was not a good omen. Then there was the time that I ordered a do-it-yourself bookcase from a company I'd never heard of before (always one to save a dollar when I can) only to have the assembly instructions come in a language I could not even identify let alone translate ... which didn't seem to mean anything to my then 10 year old step-son who simply looked at the pictures and figured it out by himself.

The reason we don't all come with a user's manual is because we are all unique. My manual may not make any sense to you (like those bookcase instructions), and yours might have nothing to do with where I am in my life (like where to put a rose bush as opposed to a lilac bush). Maybe the reason you think you got the wrong one is because knowing ahead of time how your life will turn out takes all of the excitement and adventure out of growing, and growing is what we're here to do. How boring life would be if we went through it without even one challenge, or the ability to make our own choices instead of following a set of predetermined instructions, but isn't that what we do when we just blindly follow along living our lives according to other peoples' beliefs and customs? The ability to blaze our own trail is what makes living worth while. Otherwise we're just another nail in the bookcase just like every other nail. How boring is that?

These days, if I can't find out how to do something by looking online (bless you, YouTube), I give myself permission to strike out on my own and make my own mistakes. It's all part of living and growing, and my garden - both the one inside and the one outside - blooms as it was meant to be!

And so it is.