The Best Advice I Have Ever Been Given

One of my good friends from college became a priest. Which I thought was a weird statement, until I realized that one of my exes also became a priest.

Priests tend to give good advice. It’s in the job description.

Years ago I had my priest friend visit me, and after taker out and late night conversations he crashed on my couch. I’m not a late sleeper but he was up and gone by the time I woke up. I had a note on my coffee table from him. Naturally, it covered the thank you’s for hosting him overnight. But he mentioned something from our conversation the night before.

He told me “Don’t worry too much about jobs and boys and all that. Life is so much bigger and grander than all that.”

I framed that and our game of MASH that we played the night before. Yes two grown people played MASH. And of course I framed it, it predicted that I would marry Jude Law. And that my lover would be Phyllis Diller. It gives me a good laugh.

That bit of advice has gotten me through a lot. It helps me keep a wide lens on life.

When I like a guy, it consumes me. My mind can really obsess over the guy. I can wonder if he likes me, I can wonder about if I could have done anything differently or better. I wonder if he will call, and then I start fantasizing about future dates.

My mind spins. My mind works too fast sometimes.

And sometimes I need someone to shake me out of it. Not just sometimes, almost all of the time.

At the time that I saw my priest friend I was torn up over a guy that was older than  I was but wasn’t willing to commit to a relationship. I was out of a relationship that torn me up, and so was he. We were really just physically attracted to each other but I really wanted more.

Anyway, my priest friend listened to me long for this guy. And I guess it was obvious to my friend that this guy was never going to work out. It was probably obvious to the whole world.

But when I like a guy and I’m spinning and future-tripping, I don’t anyone to tell me the obvious truth. Don’t tell me it won’t work out. Don’t give me advice.

But the only advice I could have heard, really heard, was what my friend told me.

And I think I may be finding myself in a similar place. Maybe my next step is obvious to everyone but me. But isn’t it funny what emotions can do to logic?

So I find myself turning to that piece of advice. I think about what might be bigger. I think about what I need to live my life. I think about how I want to feel, and what I can do to feel that way.

It is hard to see the big picture sometimes. It is hard to not focus on the small and immediate things. The things I am worried about.

As a priest, maybe he’s trying to guide me back to something larger. I know he would love me to have faith again. I know he would love me to practice a religion.

Maybe I should. Maybe I need that practice again. Who knows where it could go, maybe it would help me find peace, calm, and perspective.

What do you think?


7 thoughts on “The Best Advice I Have Ever Been Given

  1. I’m not sure anyone but you can answer the religion question. It works for me, but your mileage may vary. But I’m totally stealing your friend’s advice, as it applies very much to me and where I am right now.

  2. I used to ride horses when I was a kid. Although it was recreational – I worked real hard to build my skills. Sometimes it just became impossible to try focus and concentrate on all ther balls in the air. Balance, the position of ones back, arms, elbows, wrists, lower legs, orientation of the foot, heel down, delivery of subtle riding signals through the hips, heel and the hand which maintained a constant yet dynamic contact with the reins.
    If I got bogged down I might find myself obsession about overall bod posture – that perfectly vertical line that once should be able to make connecting the shoulder, hips, and hell….an in concentrating so much on that one piece of the puzzle you’d inadvertently end up letting other aspect go to hell…. and then you’d try to recover that oversight – but in diverting ones concentration to an updated point of attention ….. you end up going around in circles.

    Ultimately I think your friends advise was good….


    I think of life as being like a building built on many pillars.

    You are one…fundamentally deserving of be met, engaged, loved and valued as your are. That is not to say that the individual is perfect… rather they are what they are – and life offers many opportunities and possibilities to evolve, grow and mature as an individual.

    A life partner is another such pillar. Different to you – but every bit as deserving as you.

    Then it is up to you to choose what other pillars you are going to build and maintain to :support’ your idealized construct of life….

    That might include spirituality, learning, travel…etc.

    So yea – there are many potentially pillars you can chose to support and underpin your life.

    You must start with yourself and nuture and value your own unique self.

    Then there are the others…. partners, your values, community,… family…. avenue for personal expression… your work… friends….

    If you concentrate on any one or two of these pillars – you will ultimately neglect others…..

    So for me its about knowing and understanding what are the pillars you have in your life – what is important – what do you value…. and then ensuring that you are nurturing all these domains….

    In terms of relationship – its important not to mash two pillars into one.

    The sum of the strength are demonstrable stronger that the strength of one alone….


  3. Pingback: Dreaming Of California | Single Gal Starting Over

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