Chutes and Ladders

OK – so I lifted this straight out of Creo en Dios! — because Susan’s reflection really rang true.

I never really liked Chutes and Ladders — so arbitrary. Roll the dice. Move forward. Land on a ladder and jump up. Land on a slide (chute) and down you go. No skill. All luck. No safety until you actually reach 100 and finish. No real control.

Rather like life.

Not my favorite aspect of life at all. I want the control. I want to believe that if I follow the rules and work hard, I’ll be guaranteed success. I won’t ever slip backward. Not fair! Makes me mad when I find that I’ve taken a slide — physically, emotionally or spiritually. I thought I had earned my position by doing good. Never mind the unearned boost that comes in the form of a ladder.  I worked hard, I should get the boost.

But life doesn’t actually work that way, does it? Some days I plod along. Some days I am gifted with a great boost. And, just when I think the timing is bad, or I jut don’t believe I could get tripped up and backslide – bam! there I go. So, the only thing left to do is pick myself up and start forward again. That’s not easy when the black dog of depression tries to grab at me, or when the day just goes all wrong through no fault of my own. Take a step forward. Hope for those moments of light and joy that come unearned. Take a step forward.

This journey is more about accepting both the chutes and ladders than getting to 100. That’s not how I looked at it as a child. Lots of days I forget that as an adult. But, I am beginning to be able to see it more often than before. That might just be progress.

oops – another chute.

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