Saturday, July 28, 2007

The Meaningful People in Your Life

After a pivotal moment, it is not uncommon for me to look back over my shoulder and in my mind say, “Thanks (fill in the blank)!” The person I am “thanking” easily could have been one of my parents, one of my uncles or aunts, grandparents, one of my three adult children, and an array of others who I refer to as "the meaningful people in my life.” These were the people who, mostly during my formative years, significantly influenced me. They were the ones who meaningfully helped develop so many of my beliefs and behaviors of which I am proud. For the most part, I feel good about the person I am – and I am genuinely appreciative of all of those persons who “made me the man I am today.”

Interestingly, in my 2007 novel, Fear of Feeling Loved, Marcia is very appreciative of having very loving and caring parents, but in many situations when she is struggling with one of many speed bumps along the road of life, it is her Aunt Betty who provides her the meaningful pearls of wisdom she needs and heeds.

In the Prologue of my latest pop-psych book, Mom and Dad’s Pearls of Wisdom… You Gotta Love ‘Em, I honor my mother and father by sharing the meaningful experiences and “pearls of wisdom” they gave to me. Here’s the first paragraph of the Prologue:

People tell me life is a beach. Maybe so. But to me, life is a voyage. As I look over the bow of my boat, I ask myself, Where am I going? What will the next leg of this journey be like? How much time do I have left to get there? As I gaze back over the stern, I remember where I’ve been and what I’ve been through. Why did I do the things I did? These kinds of questions that people ask in the autumn of life only scratch the surface of life’s many mysteries. For me, one question in particular has more recently occupied my thoughts: Who has meaningfully influenced me along my path?

Beyond my Mom and Dad, I easily could go on and on with my gratitude – thanks: Uncle George for teaching me how to play the piano and enjoy sports, Uncle Bill for teaching me how to play guitar and the enjoyment of boating and fishing, to Aunt Evie for teaching me the importance of being a loving person… as I said, I could go on and on. I was very fortunate!

Question: Who were the meaningful people in your life?



Anonymous said...

Hard to put names to each - so many influential people in my life. These were teachers, family members, friends, counselors. However, I would say that the commonality in each of them is that they pushed me out of my comfort zone - out of the nest per say - forcing growth, forcing improvement, enforcing accountability at times - with encouragement, love and support.

Dr. Bill Emener said...

Hi Jordana,
Thanks for stopping by and adding to the issues in my Post. You’re fortunate (as I feel I am) – you have had many influential people in your life. And most importantly, they had “good influences” on your life. Okay, so maybe there were a few outliers who had a negative influence, but if there were more good than bad – and you knew the difference – you were home free.
One of the basic principles of Gestalt psychology is that we grow from adversity. If you really care about someone, you facilitate their growth and development (even if, as you say, it takes them out of their comfort zone). Well said!
I shall never forget the time my one daughter was dating a “less than desirable” young man and her mother asked me why I just didn’t summarily tell her not to date him. I replied, as long as he doesn’t hurt her, lave her alone – how else is she going to learn how to recognize a loser? Knowing when to leave a person alone and when to step in – ah… one of the greatest challenges of parenting.
Thanks again,