Have you ever been driving down a street you have driven a thousand times and all of a sudden not know where you are? Or, ever had a word come up that is a commonly used, easy word and you draw a blank on how to spell it? What about losing a job…could there be two perspectives on that? Or any sort of challenge…could there be two sides? Where do you choose to sit?
Experience requires that we have a properly balanced scale of situations and circumstances that range between challenging and easy. We do not get to choose when they come, how they show up, or even the timing in which they arrive. Our job is to live through them.
Some people experience life in a dramatic way, reacting and sometimes over-reacting to every situation, good or bad, in enormous theatrical splendor. Then there are those that anguish over hurt and challenge, burying themselves in victimhood…even amidst the things that are really good. Finally, there are people that are a surface of calm, gently moving through the mountains and valleys of life as if they were a slow walk in the park. Where is the difference in all of these people?
I think it is in where they choose to sit. Some may call it perspective…others approach…or just level of grace.
I have a friend that just announced his engagement, done on an ocean cruise bound for Norway. I have another friend muddling through life after a divorce. There is a third person battling illness. And finally someone that experienced foreclosure on her home and lost her job.
If you were any of these people, where would you sit? What would your reaction be? And, how would the reaction serve you? After noting how you would react, is there another approach to the situation? Finally what is a third point of view? How different does the situation appear from the various vantage points? How do the trail of events that follow each choice change?
The recent divorcee: Here is an opportunity to ride an emotional roller coaster, feeling enormous highs from being independent and free to the incredible lows of having to face the end of a dream. She could also allow herself to be buried in victimhood allowing all parts of her life be determined by an event that is now the past, causing her to recycle emotions endlessly. Finally she could see the gift that the relationship had been, take the lessons from it that needed to be learned, and empower herself to know she can now choose consciously to achieve the life she desires.
The individual that is battling illness has decided to make the most of what she has. She knows that she is not her illness and will not let it be her identity. She refuses to play the victim. She refuses to have extreme reactions to avoid additional stress on her health. She is learning conscious deep breathing techniques and takes long walks in the afternoon to soak in life, while otherwise remaining active socially and physically.
My friend that lost her job and her home is incredible. Her comment to me was, ” Wow, somehow the Universe knew I really did not like my job anymore, so it helped me out. On top of that, it made it easy for me to go anywhere and be open to pursuing what will really bring passion to my life by helping me release my house.” Exactly one month later, she was hired by a company to work in a field she had always dreamed of. They needed her to move immediately to central headquarters a few states away. She told them they would have to arrange her housing for six months otherwise she would be unable to move so quickly. They agreed. She opened herself to see the gift in a situation others may view as tragic and in doing so was able to receive something greater.
This is an e-mail that the newly engaged couple received a few days after returning from the trip and I think it speaks to the topic of a balanced perspective.
In the journey of your lives together, know that you have met the soul mirror that is here to love, support, teach, and learn through you. Take every challenge as a gift, knowing that this was the ideal mate to bring your consciousness to a place where it heals and grows. Take every joy as a miracle and know they are plentiful and bountiful, occurring on a moment by moment basis if you choose to notice them. You have the wonderful experience of connecting, feeling complete, and attaining a sense of oneness with another while discovering the incredible well of who you can each become individually.
As I read this, I became aware that every relationship, whether with a person, animal, illness, object or experience is really an opportunity heal, learn, grow and expand beyond who we have been…regardless of whether or not that person, animal, illness, object or experience remains. Where do you choose to sit? And what do you choose to take with you when you get up and go sit somewhere else?
I would like to offer a gift from an artist I came across… a writing by Mary Anne Radmacher:
Because I call it challenge rather than crisis;
Because I look at hardship as opportunity instead of obstacle;
Because, at the end of a matter, I ask, “what will I learn from this to make me better?”;
Because I take a deep breath and do the difficult thing first;
Because my courage does not depend on the weather, the economic forecast or the winds of whim;
Because I know the most significant elements in my day are laughter, learning, and applying my finest efforts to each endeavor;
Because of these things each morning is a pleasure and every day passed is a success.
All you have to do is…
BELIEVE…Beyond The Illusion…