Goalies and Gatekeepers

Quotation-Khalil-Gibran-suffering-strength-Meetville-Quotes-194823I have never been very good at being a goalie. It has gotten me in trouble all my life.

There is something to be said for encouragement. I have always tried to be that cheerleader, even when someone didn’t believe in themselves. I’m not saying this to brag, I often suck at life. It has always been my heart’s desire to help people see the future and believe in hope, idealistic dreams, dragons and heroes.

There have been times in my life when I have been commissioned to be the keeper of the flame. I have led organizations – some successfully, others were flaming balls of amazing failure. I grew up with parents who believed in me, but few others. I was the mouthy kid, the highly energetic kid before we knew about things like ADHD, and way before it was trendy to talk about. I had grandparents who I saw far too often who were soul-destroying alcoholics who demeaned us children and belittled our dreams and aspirations. That has molded me, somehow, into the person I am today. I can’t abide dream-killers. I am an idealist though I have much evidence to the contrary. This all sounds somewhat self-indulgent but as a Canadian I must remind you that I have faults a-plenty, just ask anyone. I have people who hate me. I know people who firmly believe I am going to hell. I’m human, like you.

You can do it. I have to believe that or I wouldn’t know how to live. I don’t really know if you can become a millionaire or get that jetski you have been dreaming about but I am firmly convinced that anyone can be whole, can find the meaning of life, can make a difference. I have to believe that.

I would be remiss if I did not mention that most of us will not live up to our potential. As I have written many times on this blog, emotional/mental/spiritual health is not a given and often requires more effort than many of us can give. We are also not taught about this stuff anywhere growing up so most of us have had to stumble around, looking for band-aids and triage kits. Most advice is, frankly, bad advice. Like any profession the worlds of psychology and religion are replete with superstars trying to tell you how to live your life. Most of them are, unfortunately, very wrong. Get happy quick solutions and fad remedies don’t tend to work in the long run. In the long run we need to run a great deal longer than we thought we would have to. Most people end up as “realists”, pessimists too afraid to admit they might be negative.

Idealists get beaten by life. Even with a multi-billion dollar movie industry spewing out feel good cartoons and love stories we still cannot convince most people to believe in the improbably after they hit 35.

We thought we could find Mr. Right and we were wrong. We believed that we would reach all our childhood dreams and we fell short. What now.

My dad is back in college. At 75 he has decided to go to university to study children’s literature. He wants to write kid’s books. You see what I am spawned from? What chance did I have? Most people are preparing to buy their burial suit at that age and he’s starting the slow route on a four year degree. I like my pop.

Most childhood dreams belong in our childhood. You may not, in point of fact, grow up to be a princess or a firetruck. As Robert Frost pointed out, “Two roads diverge in a wood…”. Life is almost like that. As I grow older I can choose to bring that trauma, that pain, the dreams dashed and the people who have hurt me… or I can choose to live in a world of children’s books and magic. I am prone to become too analytical, too rational. This has often kept me from allowing myself to believe in mystery. The older I get the more I seek hope in the midst of truth.

I suck at goalkeeping. I still want to score.

8 thoughts on “Goalies and Gatekeepers

  1. Yes I believe childhood dreams left behind is a good thing….however some of us were still children when we burst into the grown up world of responsibility. I was counselled by someone who listened and let me discover how the life I had set out on as a young girl was not what I thought it was. Yes Scott you listened and let me have the bells go off in my head although it was so easy for the world to see I was still holding on to that childhood dream. You have let me make decisions that even shocked you. You let me make decisions to move on in life and not feel I had let myself and everybody else down. Well done Master Councillor !! Well done!!
    Shirley S.

  2. For those of you that might not know, Scott Williams is a spectacularly successful counselor and therapist and he regularly errs on the down side when reporting his abilities and contribution to the world. Full disclosure — I have no interest or gain in promoting Scott or his practice; I’m just personally well aware of how much it means — when you’re searching for mental/emotional help — to find the right person.

      1. No, this is the older, balding guy who has spoken with you at Alouette a few times over the last couple of years. What I really meant to say is that those who help us see through our own distortions, who model “honesty” in self-examination, and who give us permission to do the things we wanted to do anyway — are fulfilling a great and humane purpose. Patience, humour, and cognitive/behavioral therapy . . . You’re doing a great job!

  3. Not all of us who have experienced being kicked down by life are negative pessimists (although I am sure we all have moments when we give in a wallow for a bit – I know I do). But I have had my share of getting kicked around and I still believe in hope, I still believe in the beauty of the improbable, I want to soar. Yes I am a few years more than 35 than I care to be, and yes life can really suck sometimes, but you know what? Life can be damned sweet and amazing sometimes too. And often the 2 are mixed together and it’s up to us to sift through and sort out the good from the bad.

    I also had some-one to aspire too. My Grandfather graduated from UBC with a Master’s degree at the age of 41 back in the 50’s. He was at the time their oldest graduate. He then went on to have a successful career and a family. I think of that when ever I feel like I’m ‘too old’ to start something new.

    Also the year I graduated High School, Victoria High had a program for adults to get their diploma, I graduated with a wonderful 75 year old woman. She was something, I can still see her face but sadly I cannot remember her name :(.

  4. This is great! Such a great outlook and that our childhood dreams should stay in our childhood. I just wrote a post on how our childhood games taught us our lessons in life, so I think some how our childhoods have crept into our futures whether we like it or not.

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