Posts Tagged ‘control’

WomanThinkingBW-2On my path in life I have been told this numerous times by those who have guided me along the way. When life is going smoothly, we can understand this and can breathe a luxurious sigh of relief. Feel happy, even. But when things are not going all that well, in one way or another, a fairly immediate response to that same statement sounds something like, “Seriously? This is exactly where I’m supposed to be?”

I don’t know where so many people got the idea that life should just sail along and bad things should never happen to us, but it’s a pretty commonly held belief at its core. Intellectually, we all know better, of course. Things happen. That’s life. But on some deeper emotional level, many of us are truly taken aback when life throws us the usual curves it dishes up. Somehow we should not really get injured or  ill, certainly not seriously, (occasional colds being the understandable exception); we should not lose loved ones, nor have to suffer terrible financial hardship; everything in GirlThinking-2relationships should be able to be worked out to everyone’s satisfaction in the end; our children should be grateful and well-behaved; we should not lose our jobs; our homes should never catch fire, nor our cars break down in the middle of nowhere … these things just shouldn’t be happening. Right?

And yet they do. And in the midst of all the mess that is a part of life, I am repeatedly told that I am exactly where I am supposed to be. As are you.

I know when I step back that it’s true. I can’t control a great deal of what life brings to me, but I can control how I react to it, and in that, I AM exactly where I’m supposed to be. I’m in the ideal spot to look at a situation, grasp its reality, and respond to it in the highest and best way possible.

Every obstacle we meet in life can be looked at as an opportunity to grow, to further develop the abilities we have to handle life and everything in it with love, dignity and grace. Of course, we have the option to feel miserable, to whine, complain and throw tantrums, but when we’re done with that, having found it’s gotten us nowhere, we can still try and figure out why what’s happening is happening, why it’s such a challenge, and then do something about it.

So even as I will sometimes want to sit and whine and/or do nothing in the face of various challenges, I remind myself that I am exactly where I’m supposed to be. And there may be a reason for that; I have something to learn. If it’s not a good place, what do I need to do to make it better? I can actually be grateful to be given this chance to grow.

It’s a different perspective … and surprisingly effective when given a try.


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Can you name two things that don’t go together? There they are. Happiness and control.

As long as we are trying to control an outcome, we’re never going to be happy. Imagine right now … say to yourself, “I would really be happy if …” and I’ll tell you that inevitably it will mean that if something or other would just go differently than it is, i.e. how you would like it, you could be happy. This is a lesson that comes up again and again and again. And in every area of one’s life.

Right now for me, both of my animals have serious medical problems, one just discovered within the last week. I would be happy if … this weren’t so; if … I could alter the outcome; if … what ails them could be turned around. None of this is reality. I can do the best I can to comfortably extend their lives for as long as possible. Who knows how long that might be? Surely, not me. And I can enjoy their wonderful company for as long as that is. I can do my best and that’s all I can do. And if I can get my head straight – it seems to come in and out of this – I can actually be happy right now as they have so far lived wonderful, happy lives and given me so much joy. And they will continue to do so for as long as they do.

We all have circumstances in our lives we wish were different. They often involve others, no? But what we need to always remember is that we are all living beings, of one species or another, on our own journeys in this lifetime. I’m not here to control yours. Nor you, mine. I don’t believe it’s our job to keep trying to control how things turn out. We can do our best to be a force for good, but beyond that, we need to trust that the Universe is in order and all is happening exactly as it should.

And there’s the happiness. Not saying it’s easy, but in that peaceful, trusting state of mind, it becomes much easier. Be happy. Me, too.

p.s. The photo is of the happiest plant on my porches. This was not the year of the thriving plants and flowers, but for some reason, this coleus, in a spot I considered probably too sunny, just gets more rich and beautiful every day. Perhaps that’s what I’m talking about.

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