Archive for May 11th, 2009

Follow Your Heart: It Will Guide You

Monday, May 11th, 2009

I had no intentions of writing tonight because my head has been pounding since I got out of work. It seems that this cold is getting the best of me. I had a nasty cold this same time last year. The only reason I remember is because I couldn’t make the trip to Indiana to shoot in the first leg of the National Triple Crown. I was disappointed, but in all reality it probably didn’t matter.

About an hour ago I was taking a nap. As I laid on my couch and flashed between this world and the next I was startled when my phone rang. I quickly glanced at the caller ID and saw that it was a good friend of mine. After a short conversation I gathered that he wanted to borrow something. I offered to meet him within the next few minutes. He was over off from Bay Road so the short drive was nothing. I needed the escape to give me a little life if not anything else.

Since my journey became clouded a few years ago I no longer take anything for granted. Whenever I meet someone I always wonder what he or she will bring to my life. I never gave it much thought before, but for some reason I get lost in the topic now. I probably put too much thought into it, but I’m convinced that each and every person that we encounter brings something to us that can help us along the way.

When I met this friend I had no idea what purpose he would have in my life. I met him around the time that I started getting back on my feet. I was getting out and about and I finally felt good about who I was after a long absence of that feeling. I knew that this kid shared one of my passions. He also wanted to learn more about archery and asked for my help. As with anything, I was more than willing to offer my assistance. I would try my best to supply him with the information that he would need to get better. As one day led into the next we formed a pretty close bond. He shared some of his intimate secrets with me and I could tell that he felt at ease talking about this stuff. Although I’m different I welcomed his conversation. I’m a much more reserved and private person. I keep things to myself and I try to figure it out without too much outside interference.

Throughout last summer I watched him as he had some extreme highs and lows in the relationship he was in. I didn’t offer a whole lot of advice, but I listened to everything that he said. Sometimes a simple nod of the head or a smile here or there can make a world of difference when someone is sharing their thoughts with you. I wanted him to know that I heard what he was saying and I appreciated the fact that he trusted me enough to let it all hang loose. As time moved forward I realized that he was looking for the same thing that everyone else is looking for. He wanted a relationship without all of the drama. He wanted something where he could be himself and let everything else fall into place. With some of his actions I was almost certain that he was a long way from finding what he was looking for. Although he’s very mature for his age I saw some actions that made me roll my eyes and laugh a little when he spoke of what he wanted in a relationship.

Well, move ahead to tonight. I just got back from meeting him and dropping off the stuff he wanted to borrow. As I pulled up beside him he had a little 9 year old boy in the truck with him. The boy was one of his girlfriend’s twins. Back in January he met a girl by total accident and they quickly became attached and formed a pretty tight bond. I remember everyone making fun of him at first and telling him that it had no chance of working because of the generational gap in their ages. However, I didn’t say a word. All I told him was to do what made him happy. If he was happy then everything else would fall into place. As the relationship started progressing he started talking about the future and if this or if that and maybe this or maybe that. I had to slow him down and tell him to live in the present. Sometimes people get too far ahead and they’re not able to enjoy the moment they’re living in.

When I saw him tonight it appeared to me that he has finally got to the place that he has been searching for. It looks like life has slowed down for him and he’s in a routine. He’s extremely happy and doesn’t seem to have a care in the world. All odds were against him for a while, so I’m glad to see that he pushed forward and found his way, at least for now.

I watched him when he was in a position where he had to make a choice. Many people in his spot wouldn’t have done what he did, but he did what he thought was best for him, even if it meant leaving some other stuff behind. When I see him now I can tell that this relationship has helped him in many ways. It’s comforting to see because as I watched him last summer I became worried at times. Some of his actions were somewhat disturbing and I questioned why he did what he did. Now, it’s almost like that person has totally disappeared. It has been one of the coolest transformations that I’ve ever watched.

As I drove away tonight I looked in the mirror and smiled. I was happy for him. I have no idea how long this relationship will last, but he has found peace. There was a reason why he met this girl and to me the reason is apparent. Their meeting helped guide him toward a better place. Even if it doesn’t last I think the experience will serve him well in the future.

No matter who I meet in my travels I always wonder which person will have the most significance in my life. I’ve met many people, but something that one person said to me will always stick in my head. I met him this week in 1998 while I was in Bedford, Indiana at the First Jewel of the National Triple Crown. His name was Chuck Nease and he was beginning his defense of the overall National Triple Crown from the year before. When my shooting assignment was drawn I ended up in a group with him. We shot together for the weekend and when we were nearing the end he said something to me that I will never forget. It pertained to shooting archery as well as everything in life. I shot one of the best rounds I had ever shot in my life. He congratulated me and was truly happy for me. I was excited, but I listened to him when he said, “Never forget that you don’t learn a damn thing on your best days. It’s the days that seem like they will never end that you learn the most about who you are.”

I can’t agree more. When things are smooth sailing we don’t learn much about who we are. However, when the storms begin rolling in one after another we quickly learn how to protect ourselves. We learn what we have to do to survive. I’ve encountered a fair amount of stormy weather. I’ve realized that life is just like the nasty thunderstorms that we experience in the summer. In an hour it can go from being the nicest day ever to the nastiest, ugliest picture imaginable. A brief storm can wreck a whole town. It can uproot trees, tear roofs off buildings, take down power lines and kill people, but within minutes the dark gloomy sky is gone. It is replaced by a sunlit sky often followed by a rainbow.

As you all march forward remember to pay close attention to the people that mysteriously show up in your lives. They were most likely sent to you for something much deeper than you can comprehend. If you don’t acknowledge them you might miss out on something that was sent to you in order to bring you to the end of that rainbow in the sunlit sky. Although fear is natural, don’t let it cause you to turn and run. Open your heart, look inside your soul and search for the meaning. When you do this make sure you listen to your heart. Your heart will not lie to you. It will point you in the right direction even if you don’t want to believe it.  It won’t scream out to you, but it will gently and softly tell you what is best for you. Ignore your mind and conscious thoughts and follow your heart, for in the end that will be the best road for you to follow.