Getting What is Owed you
Have you ever looked back at pivotal moments in your life and wondered how different things could have been or should have been?
Maybe someone owes you a bunch of money or you got passed over for an opportunity that could have completely changed your life.
When I was a child, my dad was enlisted in the army.
Army life was tough, but we had a good family and great times together.
We lived on the base in Fort Richardson, Alaska.
My dad was finishing up active duty there and when he got done, our whole family was going to move to Mesa, Arizona.
We wanted to live somewhere warm and I would imagine hot summers with fresh grapefruit and swimming outside with my family in a civilian neighborhood.
About 2 weeks before my 10th birthday, my parents sat us all down and I could see that something was wrong as they had both been crying.
They told us that they were getting a divorce.
I couldn’t even believe what I was hearing and I began to cry also.
My entire life and perceived future changed in that moment.
I felt like it was all being ripped away from me.
In less than a week, my mother, siblings (a brother and 2 sisters), and I left on a plane to Brigham City, Utah to go stay with my mother’s sister.
It was December and we had Christmas at my aunt and uncle’s house.
I didn’t see my dad for four months, which was the longest ever up to that point.
My mom was forced to work full-time to pay bills and found us a small apartment near my aunt’s house.
We had government assistance as she struggled to pay bills, feed and clothe us.
My brother became bitter as he was forced to step up and help take care of the rest of us.
Basically, my life changed drastically in a way that I had not foreseen and didn’t want.
I’m not telling you this to complain or make you feel sorry for me.
The point is that I held on to feeling like I got crapped on in life for years.
It was never supposed to go that way.
At that age, I wasn’t able to see how that thinking was affecting me, but I felt like life had sleighted me for years.
In my mind, people would always lie to me, and I couldn’t trust them,
I had a messed up family and life that was abnormal,
And I was missing out on the life that I had dreamed of because of other people.
Now at some point, I got over it on some level and moved on, but it wasn’t until recently that I realized how much those thoughts had governed my thinking and decision-making well into my adulthood.
I had felt a huge loss and because I focused on it, I didn’t realize that everything I thought I had lost was still there in my life in a different form.
My aunt and uncle opened their home to me and I spent days on end over there getting the love, affection, direction, and care that I thought was gone.
We lived in a town known for their fruit trees and remember countless warm summer days eating cherries and peaches until I was literally sick.
My parents eventually remarried and I was put back into a mostly functional family environment again (is there truly a fully functional family?).
I lost out on a lot of happiness and opportunities over that time by focusing on the perceived loss.
I really had everything I needed the whole time.
What are you missing out on because you are still caught up in something that didn’t work out?
I’m not saying maybe it wasn’t something massive.
There are things much worse than what I had to deal with.
I’m talking about holding onto perceived loss and limiting your happiness and opportunity.
Everything you lose gets replaced in some way.
It just comes in another form and may take some quiet thinking to see where it showed up somewhere else.
It is there.
Don’t get caught up in what could have been or should have been.
It didn’t happen and unless you can take action to change it, it’s gone.
I believe it was for a reason, but it’s hard to see the reason when you are focused on how it screwed you over.
Look at where the loss resurfaced in your life and let go of the painful part.