When do you get to choose?
Life is full of challenges – narrow spots. Have I said that before? Those narrow spots may be big or small, include crisis and disaster, occur by accident or design and/or be positive or negative. So what is the big deal?
The big deal is that you get to choose your attitude in any given set of circumstances. That is what Viktor Frankl says in “Man’s Search fro Meaning”.
I am speaking this weekend at a spring luncheon for a group of Lutheran women. I talked to the organizer recently and she said that several people had asked if my comments – telling my story, sharing the message that I carry – was going to be depressing. Now I ask you, is confronting a challenging narrow spot like cancer and the amputation of your dominant hand depressing? What would make it so? Muse on that for awhile.
Yes, it would be depressing if I were a person who wallowed in self-pity. Yes, it would be depressing if I sang a song of lament over having to change dominance and learn to do so many everyday things in a new way. Yes, it would be depressing if after being given the opportunity to choose life, I decided to wake up each day with a sense of dread and foreboding about all of the things I can or do not do anymore. But that is not the message!
The message is that each life journey is unique and you do not always get to choose the path you travel on that journey. The message is that if you are willing to make the effort – at times an enormous effort – to face each day with a sense of wonder and an intention to be present to whatever your journey has to offer that day, you will eventually move forward on your path. The message is that you do not travel alone. You have the resources and the opportunity to ask for help at every step of your journey. That help may come from treasured friends, wise elders, spiritual advisors, therapists and/or healing practitioners from a variety of modalities. It may come from books, classes, retreats or lectures. Wherever it comes from, the choice is yours to accept and acknowledge it; use it as you see fit.
You get to choose everyday. Tomorrow when you wake up – acknowledge the opportunity to face whatever comes your way with persistence, patience, enthusiasm, gratitude and grace – actually you get to decide how you acknowledge the gift of another day. Do not waste time in self pity – there is not purpose. Whatever is – is. Move forward when you can. Rest with an open heart and a qwuiet mind until that forward movement reveals itself.
Namaste. Be well. Be whole.