It took me two tries to get this out, but I think I have my perspective right. You be the judge.
Each of us has the opportunity to decide how we will approach life. While I certainly mean deciding one’s general outlook on life, we also have the opportunity to decide how we will interpret each thing that happens to us in each moment of our days.
Think about that for a second. How awesome is it to be able to decide how you will react to what happens to and around you?!
I want to be as clear as I know how to be. There are so many things that can influence your interpretation and reaction of a particular situation: your emotional state, your (physical, mental, and spiritual) health, the level of fatigue you may or may not have, and even the energy of the place that you are in. In and of themselves, those things don’t particularly matter, but your awareness of them certainly does.
I titled this post the way I did because I want to explore that idea. Bear with me.
Generally speaking, I most often hear someone saying ” Everything happens for a reason” when they are trying to explain something that escapes concrete explanation. Nine of out 10 times, it is when they are trying to come to terms with something that has happened that is less than desirable, like:
Losing a job
Losing a loved one
Losing money/spending unexpected money
Finding out about an illness (personal of or a loved one)
Ending a relationship
Facing a hardship
For some people, it can be easy to get caught up in the “why me” syndrome and feel like the whole world is against you. Here’s the thing: when you start thinking that way, it really does alter the way that you perceive the things that happen to you and around you. It becomes so much easier to start living on the defensive and to take offense at things that wouldn’t bother you any other time. It also becomes easier to see things as being “against you” when they just are.
So how do you change that? Be honest with yourself about how you feel in the moment. It’s super important to know what you emotions are, but that does not mean that the emotion(s) have to drive your reaction. What if you decide to take the alternate point of view, and decide that instead of things happening to be against you, they happen for you?
I’m going to give an extreme, but fitting scenario:Girl is going along in life and then finds out she has arthritis at the age of 21. Over time, the arthritis becomes so bad it changes her joint alignment and range of motion at the joints. All of the things she used to do with ease are now extremely painful, so any movement is a chore. She has difficulty grasping utensils, buttoning buttons, zipping zippers, and even wiping after using the bathroom.
Girl’s life path is going to be determined by how she feels: she can accept the hand she was dealt and make the best of it or she can bemoan her life and feel trapped/sinned against and let life happen to her.
The scenario I presented is an adaptation of the life of a woman who decided to do the former. She told me that it was through her diagnosis and living with the condition that she found her life’s true passion of advocacy. She got inspired enough to go back to school.which led to her making connections with people in the field. The connections she made gave her the resources to make independent living programs and funders that helped her get the job she has today. She is a staff member at a University helping students with low vision secure the technology that will help the be successful in their classwork.
The key point there is that she made a decision to be positive, present in the moment and to live the life that she wanted to live. While I am sure her road was not without its darker moments, she pushed through them and appreciated the good that came out of a life altering diagnosis.
I read an article today that suggested that most people don’t changes unless something dire happens to them, and while for some people that is the case I know it doesn’t have to be. Deciding to change your outlook is a simple living for each moment as it comes without worrying about what what or what will be. It means that instead of wondering “why me?” you wonder “why not me” and don’t take life personally. It means submitting to what life throws you instead of trying to work against it.
If the path of least resistance is the easiest way, why make things harder for yourself by fighting what already is?