Wiley's Wisdom

Joy: From the Ground Up

Life In The Fast Lane September 22, 2013

Today was loud. And fast. And I loved every minute of it.

I was the official unofficial race dog today at a place called Road America. It’s a well-known racetrack in Elkhart Lake, Wisconsin about an hour away from my forever home. It has become a family tradition to go with my people and my grandparents right around this time every year. I look forward to the sights, the smells and the people love even more than the car ride to get there.

Joy. From the ground up, it happens throughout my time there when I get all kinds of attention from a wide variety of people from all over the country. I encounter smiles wherever my heart takes me and it doesn’t even bother me that they’re not just smiling because of me. They’re smiling because they love everything about race day. The sights. The smells. The speed.

The speed is what got me thinking today. I’ve never been on a car ride where the car was traveling 140 miles per hour. And I can’t say I would really like to try it. But I have gotten caught speeding in the fast lane once or twice. Not literally (as much as I would still love to learn) but figuratively. I think I have this in common with a lot of the people I met today. At one point or another we have all gotten a little carried away with life in the fast lane.

It gets loud. And flies by when you’re having fun. And we love every minute of it. But every now and then we need to slow down. I did this with mom and dad for a bit today as we took a walk around the track. Sure, the air still smelled like brats and motor fuel. And the cars kept doing their noisy thing on the track. But in those moments things were quiet. They paused to note the color in the trees and the simple beauty of the day.

The words of American musician Lindsey Buckingham came to life in these moments. “But by taking the time away, getting myself off the treadmill, and just slowing down and learning, I felt I had so much more to give back. And maybe that was something that needed to happen for all of us.”

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Love Over Troubled Water February 14, 2013

Whoever said it is better to have loved and lost than to never love at all doesn’t know the painful bliss of true love.

There is this quote on a wall in my forever home that makes me reflect on painful bliss this Valentine’s Day. “There is only one happiness in life,” it reads, “to love and be loved.” As a believer in the crucial role of happiness and joy in one’s life, I must admit that today my heart is especially with those who have loved and lost.

Love You World

There’s this thing about true love. Or big love, as Lindsey Buckingham called it. It is unconditional, unstoppable, and indisputable. It has a life of its own. And that’s what I love most about it. Love is life.

But what about the simple physiological truth involved with big love? Without a heartbeat, we stop living. And without love, our heart struggles to beat. So we live to love. To those surrounded with loved ones, today is a cherished day to consider the role love plays in our lives.

Today (as much as I love them too) my heart is not with those people. No. Today my heart is with those who are alone. My heart is with those who have loved and lost, (or worse) those have yet to love at all.

“I was never one to patiently pick up broken fragments and glue them together again and tell myself that the mended whole was as good as new,” wrote Margaret Mitchell, who is best known for her classic American novel Gone With the Wind. “What is broken is broken — and I’d rather remember it as it was at its best than mend it and see the broken places as long as I lived.”

At its core, a truth that honest can sometimes be too painful to bear. And yet it ironically provides a freedom like no other. Sometimes the most painful truth is our own emotional bridge over troubled water. In truth there is an acceptance of the past that most likely holds our gift of emotional resuscitation. Painful as it may be, there are dreams in our past that could use a fresh breath. There are dreams in our life that need to make it over that bridge. Our very own buried treasure might be lurking around a scary dark corner. If only we could get to it!

We can. That is my goal on this day of love: to nudge everyone I care about a teeny bit closer to the love over their troubled water. For some, the nudge could lead a little closer toward self acceptance. For others, the sky is the limit. The point is today is a day for the weary who are feeling small, like those in Simon and Garfunkel‘s classic song. “When tears are in your eyes, I will dry them all,” the duo sings.

Like them, please know “I’m on your side when times get rough and friends can’t be found…like a bridge over troubled water I will lay me down.”