Wednesday, June 8, 2016

Today I choose...

With all the negativity and complaining in the news these days, and throughout the year, I am constantly reminded to stop listening to the news.

Yesterday I chose Brene Brown's book, Rising Strong. It is the part of the story where she recounts her realization that she was trying to transfer her feelings of shame to another person. That she was a person who wanted to willfully shame someone else to try to move away from her own discomfort.

That is what I see in the news cycle and through my social media feeds everyday. People trying to shame other people.

Each year I go back to Viktor Frankl's book, Man's Search for Meaning. I reread this book because it reminds me that in a world where so much hurt and suffering occurs, we each have the power to shape our own experience. 

"Between stimulus and response there is a space. In that space is our power to choose our response. In our response lies our growth and our freedom." ~ Viktor Frankl.

Happiness doesn't happen when all the right circumstances show up in our lives. Happiness happens when we accept the way things are, even as we work to change them and change ourselves in the process.

"When we are no longer able to change a situation, we are challenged to change ourselves." ~ Viktor Frankl

An attitude of acceptance is the only way to heal conflict. Acceptance is the process of making peace with what we dislike, want to forget or the pain we feel. Making peace means we allow whatever is happening or has happened to exist. We do not try to change the past. We do not try to fill the pain with some other thing that we believe will enable us to not feel the pain anymore.

Peace is when we surrender. We allow the pain to be there. Yes, peace and pain can co-exist. Peace is the grace you feel when you watch someone you love suffering with cancer finally succumb to death. 

Peace is the stillness you feel as you accept the rain soaking through your clothes when you are caught in an unexpected shower.

Peace is the sadness, the grief you experience, accompanied by compassion as you watch someone you love in pain.

Peace is the quiet joy that opens your heart as you see into the eyes of a newborn.

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