FB Post, May 21, 2013
Good Tuesday morning! I just finished watching/listening to a video about a young man, Zach Sobiech, who just passed away after his battle with cancer. He says "You don't have to find out you're dying to start living." I posted his video and, even if you just watch the first few minutes, I think it will give you some new perspective.
Yesterday, my sister bought Holly some new sunglasses with pink tinted lenses. Jokingly she said, "You're literally seeing the world through rose-colored glasses!" I think it’s funny that, generally, when people say that it is with a certain amount of disdain. Kind of like “You’re fooling yourself if you think life is THAT good!” Well, I don’t see anything wrong with it. It’s not like being in denial. I mean, yeah, there are a lot of crappy things happening in the world. There are HORRIFYING things we see in the news every day. I believe in the presence of good in the world and, to do so, I must also surrender to the idea that there is a presence of evil as well. But I can only do what I can do. My peace begins with me. My view of the world begins with me.
Nobody makes me see things one way or another. If someone is unkind to me, the pain they are suffering from has nothing to do with me. And the pain I suffer from has nothing to do with anyone else. It is how I handle a situation that makes my reality. This is as true for pain as it is for my joys in life. When I give myself the gift of seeing the good in others, to not write them off as some category of human, I am helping me. And the world around me. When I spin a situation to see what is good in it, I free myself from the agony of worry, fear, and loss of control.
The other day, Holly and I went to the airport to get my sister and niece. I could not for the life of me find the entrance to the parking area. I went by it the first time and a nice lady said, “Oh, you just passed it. You’ll have to around again”, because, of course, it’s a one way! So, no problem; Holly and I went around again. Then I missed it a SECOND time! Now I’m starting to panic. “Oh my gaawwwwwd!!! They’ll be waiting for us! I’m never going to find this entrance? What is wrong with me?? What am I going to do???” I was breaking out in a sweat, my head was starting to get tight, and suddenly, from the back seat, I heard a little voice say, in a very knowing tone: “Well…y’know mom; ya can’t go back.” Suddenly the dark cloud I was under was lifted with light and love. I laughed out loud!! I said “You are so right, honey; I CAN’T go back. So what am I getting so upset about?! You are one of the wisest persons I’ve ever met.” She had no idea how she helped me out of my bad place with her very literal, yet awesome, perspective.
Thanks to human physiology, we don’t always react with calm and intellect. The fight or flight mechanism can be pretty darn compelling!! But when we get our bearings, we can see things a little more clearly. And that intervention can come in an immeasurable number of places and ways. The thing is, it is up to us to actively seek out that perspective. Sometimes it hits us over the head, but sometimes we have to dig a little. In someone else’s hands that conversation could have gone very differently:
“Well…y’know mom; ya can’t go back.”
“Well, OF COURSE, I can’t go back?!! What do you think I am, stupid or something?!!!”
How we influence a situation is equally as important as how we are influenced by a situation. It’s a symbiotic relationship. I’m not always going to be at the top of my game and to say I am would be fooling no one, least of all me. I am reminded of this quote:
“The ultimate measure of a man is not where he stands in moments of comfort and convenience, but where he stands at times of challenge and controversy.”
Life doesn’t happen to us. We are not puppets in a grand show. Well, not unless we allow ourselves to be.
How I see my life is solely up to me. Ultimately, I’m the one that has to decide what color glasses I’m going to see my world. If I do choose the rosy tint, does that make me delusional or optimistic? Some may say that is the same thing. I don’t believe so. How we handle what life brings us; that shows our true character. That shows what we are really made of. And that is a very scary thing. We imagine ourselves to be like those that run toward disaster to help people, but when the “fit hits the shan”, we may very well be like George Costanza, knocking over old people and children to get away from danger! But, when we condition ourselves to be compassionate, we have a better chance of spreading love instead of fear. And it starts with everyday things.
Today I’ll be donning my rose-colored glasses. Not because I am weak, but because I want to see the world as something to love, not to fear. Love perpetuates the good that already exists. Fear perpetuates the evil. “Love one another.” I don’t care if you’re religious or not, that just makes sense.
I hope you grant yourself the ability to approach your day with joy and peace, no matter what. It is all up to you how to interpret it. It is a gift only you can give yourself. How awesomely powerful is THAT?! Peace.