As I sit here, seeking inspiration, Sonny and Cher’s “The Beat Goes On” is running through my head reminding me that the music from my youth is still extremely relevant today. 

The beat goes on, the beat goes on
Drums keep pounding a rhythm to the brain
La de da de de, la de da de da

Charleston was once the rage, uh huh
History has turned the page, uh huh
The mini skirts the current thing, uh huh
Teenybopper is our newborn king, uh huh

The beat goes on, the beat goes on
Drums keep pounding a rhythm to the brain
La de da de de, la de da de da

The grocery store’s the super mart, uh huh
Little girls still break their hearts, uh huh
And men still keep on marching off to war
Electrically they keep a baseball score

The beat goes on, the beat goes on
Drums keep pounding a rhythm to the brain
La de da de de, la de da de da

Grandmas sit in chairs and reminisce
Boys keep chasing girls to get a kiss
The cars keep going faster all the time
Bums still cry “hey buddy, have you got a dime”

The beat goes on, the beat goes on
Drums keep pounding a rhythm to the brain
La de da de de, la de da de da

I can still remember being glued to the TV when the Sonny and Cher show came on and enjoying the campiness of it, the simplicity that was life in those days.  That, I’m afraid, has changed, but the theme of the song, “the more things change, the more they stay the same” still lives on.

We still face the challenges of childhood, the angst of the teen years and our entry into the responsibilities of adulthood, ready or not.  Along the way, many of us meet someone, make a commitment, have a couple of kids and grow old together or not.  Many of us discover that the choice we made at a low point in our lives is not such a good fit as we grow, acquire new skills and gain confidence.

We learn that what we attracted when our self-esteem wasn’t even measurable itches and chafes because we grew while our perfect fit stayed the same.  Nobody is to blame.  We simply chose different life paths.  One chose to change and adapt and one chose to stay in their comfort zone.  Each choice is valid as long as the only one who has to live with the choice is the one who made it.

One of the many things I’ve learned as I travel this current path of Human existence is that we all have a right to our choices because the consequences and the rewards from those choices are directly tied to what we came here to learn.  By trying to take away the choices, the consequences or the rewards from another person, is to deny them the right to learn.

It took me a long time to learn to just get out of the way and let the people I love learn their own lessons without trying to fix things for them.  Although it hurts to watch them stumble, I finally understand that it’s the stumbling that makes them more steady for the next time, the tripping, falling and picking themselves up that teaches them confidence, perseverance and high self-esteem.  It also means that when they put all of the pieces together in a manner that yields the results they want, they have that shining moment when they can stand up and say “I did it!” and bask in the glory of their own accomplishments.

In a way, I was lucky.  I was allowed to stumble and fall, to fail before I succeeded and to take pride in my own accomplishments.  But I learned what feels like the wrong lesson because it made me believe that I had to try to smooth the road for others, especially my children.  Frankly, in retrospect, I didn’t do them any favors as all I did was to delay the process for them.    Don’t get me wrong.  I’m not beating myself up over the choices I made as they led to the lessons I’ve learned, just as the choices my daughters have been allowed to make without my interference for the last few years have led to their own lessons…and will continue to do so for all of us.

The best lessons I have taken away from all of this are to allow and to forgive.  Of the two, forgiving is definitely the hardest, and one I continue to practice nearly every day, especially when I have a negative reaction to someone who was less than fair, honest or compassionate, and who I allowed to mistreat me.  I work hard to forgive their behavior and feel compassion for a person who was inclined to behave the way they did.  Then I take on the monumental task of forgiving myself for allowing them to do so, and for reacting.  Truth be told, forgiving is a lifelong process, maybe many lifetimes worth!

My gratitudes tonight are:
1. I am grateful for the lessons I’ve learned.
2. I am grateful that I’ve learned to allow.
3. I am grateful for natural remedies for annoying maladies.
4. I am grateful for another early night.
5. I am grateful for accomplishments, both large and small.

Love and light.

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