One of my [least] favorite childhood movies was Chitty Chitty Bang Bang. A family classic, I loved every moment of the movie except for the evil villain, with the long nose, who captured children with the lure of a candy wagon. My family did a remarkable job of enjoying movies that involved terrifying characters that caused nightmares for me. That’s a story for another time…

See, this character would attract droves of children with the promise of candy. Once they were inside of his wagon, the decorations would appear and the cage was revealed that now trapped them. I’ve seen this happen on several occasions in my own life; chasing after something that appeared to be wonderful, only to realize it was a cage that had no good intentions in mind for me.

Whether it was being used and washed away in New York City by an embezzling scoundrel, or being walked away from by poor choices of business partners, clients or even relationships, I’ve had multiple situations that have taken a toll on me.

I’m still standing. Standing tall.

In every one of these situations, the punishment and pain was a temporary inconvenience. Those who caused the pain are left in the past. I’ve got very little ill feelings toward them. Their choices will yield consequences they will have to live with. It’s never our job to dish out the karma somebody else has incurred on their own life.

“Aaron, it’s good to have you back.” “It’s good to be me again.” Hugs and handshakes. Forgiveness and laughter. Life is beautiful.

When two people meet, the answer to “Tell me about yourself” tends to involve a lot of these external behaviors; job, background, education, etc. It’s rare to find somebody who can answer the question with details about who they are, rather than what they do for a living.

Who we are is so different than what we do. This is the ‘stuff’ that really matters…our character, personality, goals, dreams, strengths, weaknesses, and passions. When you meet somebody who complements these strengths, rather than strangles them, you know you’ve got somebody of value in your life who will be the best friend, lover, or family member you could ever ask for.

Featured Image From Deviantart

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