Saturday, July 16, 2011

Shining Bright in Life Changing Events

Our existence is full of life changing events.

We experience many events in life that change us. Sometimes the events are something we are expecting to come along and we can prepare somewhat for them. Sometimes the events are a complete, out of left field, out right shock.

The events can be good and move us in positive directions - an unexpected job promotion, meeting the special someone, winning the lottery (hey I can dream....). We like the good events. We even welcome them. Those types of events help us keep a positive outlook . They confirm that our existence is running smoothly, moving forward, and moving upward. They give us in some ways, affirmation of our worth, our ability, and our importance in the world. Our view of the world around us is less cynical and critical when we feel good about how bright our own personal light is shining.

But the events can be difficult, hurtful, and turn our lives upside down - the loss of a loved one or relationship, betrayal, injury or illness. We don't like those events. Who would? They shake us to our core, make us question who we are and who others are. They can damage the way we look at our selves and the world around us. Often these types of events take away the things that give us our value, our sense of self or worth, or even the thing that our world revolves around. We can become angry, cynical and stuck in a "victimized" state of mind. Our flame falters and our light is dimmed.

We have have natural tendencies of how we handle them.

Positive reactions to good events and negative reactions to the tough events is probably our natural tendency and not really all that unexpected. The reactions to the good events... well we can probably get through life just fine by letting those events build us up. It's the tough events that we need to watch out for. To live a healthy and fulfilled life we often will need to go against our natural instinct and tendency in how we let those events change us.

But, we do have a choice in many of the ways in which the events change us!

Of course we need to not deny the event and fully process and deal with it. We need to grieve appropriately. But once that process is done, instead of being focused on what was lost, we need to choose to shift to what we still have, what we have gained, or what was always there that we did not see. It is not always easy, but it is necessary. If we have lost a relationship, we may have gained a piece of ourselves back that was lacking because of it, or it may lead to a more fulfilling one. If we have been betrayed, we have gained insight and can have better discernment the next time. If we have lost an ability, we can find, claim and hone others. We can use the events to realize how amazing we still are.

We have a choice in how the events of life change us. The good ones are an amazing gift that fan our flames and make us bright. But when the bad ones come along, we have a choice to let it snuff out or light, or find new kindling and fuel for the fire.

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