Friday, March 20, 2009

Words That Changed My Life

I'm not a believer in anything spiritual. I don't believe in prophetic visions. I do, however, believe that sometimes things happen that we cannot explain. Not miracles exactly, just little events that happen that we have no idea what caused them.

I remember my mother once telling me a story about how she was visiting a friend who lived in a small house near the beach. When my mother looked out the window, she saw a man jogging down the beach. As she watched this complete stranger whom she had never met before, the only thought that went through her head was, "Someday, I'm going to marry him."

She didn't know where the thought came from, or why she would think that about someone she'd never met before. But, for whatever reason, she felt certain that one day she was going to marry him.

That man was, in fact, my father and they have been married now for almost 37 years. My mother claims that the voice she heard in her head was God. I'm more skeptical about it than she is.

I tell this story to show you why I put so much weight on what comes next.

Here's another story that my mother told me. When I was a baby, one night in particular, my mother was holding me in her arms and rocking me. She heard that same voice in her head again. This time it was about me. The voice told her, "One day, he's going to help people." Ever since she told me that story, I made it my life's goal to fulfill it, but have failed so far. I thought maybe I would help people through the music I was writing, or through the stories I was also writing. Then I thought maybe it was something more obvious like I was destined to be a counselor or something. I even spent a few months taking a Social Service Worker course in college until I realized I hated it and dropped out.

Then, I went through a long depression because I thought that if I can't even help myself, how am I going to help others?

Those words have haunted me for a long time, because I felt that if I didn't do something to help people, I was destroying this hope my mother had for me. It's only recently that I realized that when my mother had her prophecy (for lack of a better word) about my father, neither of them went out of their way to make it happen. It just happened. So, if this prophecy (again, for lack of a better word) about me is going to come true, I need to stop trying to make it happen and just let it happen. If it doesn't, well, it's still a cool story to tell people.

I was thinking about this the other day to show how these words from my mother affected my life. I based major decisions on these words that were told me before I reached junior high. I wish I had the wisdom back then to realize that if it's going to happen, it'll happen without my help and that I should let it be.

Maybe it will happen and maybe it won't, but it's still a cool story to tell.

I love you, mom.


Bob said...

There have been moments in my life much like the ones you mention, m' friend. And yes, I completely understand that the gravity of hearing those kind of things steer future decisions because there's a part of you that has enough faith that they're true. Best I can offer is that destiny, fait, whatever you want to call it, will be revealed when it's time. I think there's some things that we need to learn and experience so that when the time's right, we're prepared for our purpose to be revealed. You just keep fighting the good fight and doing the best you can until it shows up at your feet. And when you finally see it... don't be afraid to take it by the short and curlies and run with it. =)

Bobby said...

Hey Joe, very touching story. Everything that happens in life is a signpost telling you what you should do. I once wanted to be a social worker, and many career placement test results said the same thing. One thing I've learned in life is there is only one person you can really help, and that is yourself. Once accomplished, then you can help others to help themselves. And I'm still working on me!