Friday, April 22, 2011
I have realized the universe will usually prove me right. This is a great paradigm I awakened to but only after realizing that it works in two ways. For many years I would exclaim, “My life sucks!” It would prove me right. “I am going nowhere!” It would prove me right. “The world is full of evil people.” It would prove me right. “I am never going to get out of this (insert challenging circumstance)!” It would prove me right.
It is our focus that often binds us to our perceived insurmountable obstacles. Our self-victimization that we are being caught in the crosshairs of a malicious God or universe–that our purpose must be one of suffering.
Pain is inevitable. Suffering is optional.
Pain is the circumstances life bestows upon us to strengthen us, challenge us, bind us, and perhaps reconnect us to our faith. It nudges our rudder to keep our lives fresh and vibrant–although often not of our liking or choosing, inevitable none-the-less. The most righteous, rehearsed, learned, and cautious will succumb to the inevitable brush with pain. Yes it hurts, but for how long will we allow it to remain?
Suffering however is where we continue to remind ourselves that we still should be hurting. We writhe in the familiar only because we bring it along like a carry-on bag in our life’s voyage. This can occur with people who have encountered great obstacles: addiction, divorce, loss, disease. For some reason the obstacle becomes the "identity." We drop our anchor in yesterday retarding our ability to sail again. There is a difference between fear and respect. Fear paralyzes one into inactivity. Respect empowers one into seeking new paths. Respect your painful experiences, don’t fear them.
Nowadays I dedicate myself to trying to remain aware of my CHOICE of FOCUS. I have found the simple key has been in my pocket all along. I decided to stop screaming through the bars, screaming in my pillow, screaming in the mirror and simply decide to rearrange what I focused on in my recovery from any challenging situation.
Like many men, for many years I had to have my keys in my pocket, remote in hand, and know where I was going. Now I enjoy the journey knowing in advance I will eventually arrive where I should. I realize too that there are certain things I no longer need my remote for. And if you need a key, extend your hands through the bars and you can have one of mine.