We seem to get sick, we age, we have a few betrayals and eventually we die whether we agree to this or not. Also we had very little to say about the circumstances of our birth. None of these things are directly under our control.
Throughout life things happen seemingly from out of the blue and we wonder why. Even asking the question, “Why did this happen?” is an effort of trying to find some kind of control. We secretly hope that if we could find reasons for what happened that we could make sense out of it and thus feel slightly more in control.
We use countless strategies to gain a sense of control so that we don’t feel subjugated to all the random happenings without rhyme or reason, as the saying goes.
The good news is that we have control where it is essential.
We don’t control outcomes, but we can choose our response. And this makes all the difference, for our responses affect the future. They create the conditions out of which arise future events.
Our responses include our thoughts and attitudes which each moment create more happiness or more suffering. They either bring relief from suffering or add to it. This is how powerful how freedom to choose is.
What we choose to hold in our mind—and act on—is creating our future.
These are areas in which we can control—for our attitude is inside our head/heart. We have either consciously or unconsciously selected our thoughts and attitudes. Our view of each situation is within us. No one gets inside our mind and places lenses over our seeing. That is our job. And it is our work to remove the lenses which give us false or distorted views.
In essence we are choosing a life of serenity and joy or a frustrated, worried one. This puts us in a very powerful position.
My experience is that life becomes more meaningful as I remember I have the power to choose which thought or feeling I will act on. I am deciding which avenue to walk down, which neural pathway to flow into.
My desire is to be open and accepting to life as it is right now. Acceptance always comes before change. As I accept what is I stop resisting. I slow down and open to the direct experience of this moment.
My trying to change what is taking place is similar to trying to stop the ocean waves. But I have a choice. Can I accept each wave just as it is and work with it—mentally learn to surf—or will I fight against it?
I’m all for accepting what is and asking myself what is my next skillful move. In order to do this I need to get still. I need to quiet the chaos inside, the noise of the committees within my head, and let something new arise from the silence.
As I develop this habit I spend less time thinking I am a victim. This brings relief. Being less tense and worried calms my mind. The calmness allows new options to arise. And this alters the future.