Have you ever wondered where you'd be if you made different life decisions? I think about it now and then....especially when I encounter folks whose lives are a mess. I've come across a few of theses the last few days. They did things early in life that started them down the wrong path. At first it seemed harmless enough but things snow-balled and soon their lives were out of hand.
I have a really good friend that is a remarkable guitar player and he played with a really famous star. He traveled around the world on a Lear Jet and stayed in the best hotels. For years he drank excessively, smoked pot, and did every kind of drug imaginable. He was married, and had a house in Aspen, Colorado.
Things started to unravel for him and he lost the marriage, the house, and he landed in jail. He called his elderly parents for help but they refused. He had called one time too often. They had put him through rehab, bailed him out of jail, paid fines...he repaid their kindness with more insanity. His parents had enough and his dad said, with tears in his eyes, "you'll have to work this out for yourself."
My friend said he was furious...he cursed, screamed and beat his hands bloody on the walls of that cell. He called all his old friends but no one came. He was locked away for months. He had a chance to take a long hard look at all his life decisions.
When he got out, he was a new man. He made his way home and asked his folks to forgive him. He started attending Alcoholic Anonymous meetings and he got his life back together. He has been clean for many years. He remarried a beautiful caring woman and they now own a horse farm in Dallas. He has a successful business. I asked him once what took him so long to "get it." He said "I am a lovable person and everybody wanted to help me except me. I never once thought about getting my life straight until I hit bottom. The view is much clearer from down there," he explained.
I asked one of the folks I mentioned at the first of this entry if they had ever imagined what their lives would be like had they taken a different path and she had a poignant reply: "yes I have thought about it a lot. I know that I would have finished college and gotten a really good job....and I could have gone places." I saw a sadness in her eyes that was deep and profound. I truly hope she has the strength to make good life decisions from now on.