“Everything – the good and bad, pleasure and pain, approval and disapproval, achievements and mistakes, fame and shame – all come and go. Everything has a beginning and an ending and that’s the way it’s supposed to be.” – Richard Carlson
Life can be so unpredictable. One moment you are sitting there smiling, sipping some coffee – the next you’re in tears because of unexpected events beyond your control.
We cannot control what happens outside of us. A plate breaks, someone yells at you in traffic, a woman cuts you in line at the grocery store, your company downsizes and you are cut from the team, the kids are in trouble at school, there is a sickness in the family, the list is endless. Nevertheless, you can control how you react to your external circumstances.
When you live your life from the inside out, you finally come to a place where you always have control. You always have a choice when it comes to your internal feelings about the chaos going on all around you. Life will hand you curve balls. Inevitably, something will eventually go wrong, and it is at this moment where you can breathe and tell yourself “I am in control of how I respond and of how feel about this situation.” You can think to yourself, “Will I react by feeling defeated, angry, and upset? Or will I let go, breathe and invite peace into my heart as I take deliberate, intuitive steps to bring myself out of this situation?” You always have the power to choose the latter. You do not have to choose to feel bad when the car breaks down or when you lose your job or whatever other difficulty. It may not be easy at first to realize that you have the power within you to switch from painful reactions to peaceful ones. But with practice and awareness you will come to see that you do have a choice as to what you harbor in your internal space and how you will react to your external world.
Life will always hand us troubles and because of this it is important to become a peaceful warrior. Challenges are opportunities for our growth. We learn from our mistakes and from our difficult circumstances. We learn to let go and realize that when one door closes it also opens new doors of opportunities. One day, we will all eventually let go of everything – this is called death – the total letting go of all. So why not practice now? Let go of painful reactions and embrace peaceful responses that allow you to dance with the unexpected maneuvers of life rather than battle with them only to bring yourself more pain. Dance with your life!