Our Response to Uncontrollable Issues of Life

Posted on March 21, 2011. Filed under: Health, Lifestyles, Psychology |


Weather is a great teacher.  It is something over which we have absolutely no control and we know it.  There are many, many things over which we have no control, but we are less likely to think about them, or admit to our powerlessness.  Our attitudes towards the weather may be indicative of our attitudes and responses to some of the deeper uncontrollable issues of life.

If we have learned to savor the good days when they are here, and make alternate plans for the others, then we are flexible and adaptable.  If we make plans which depend upon good weather, and set them in stone, then we will be frustrated and let down when the whether does not co-operate.  If we then brood and feel sorry for ourselves, ruminating over what might have been, then we are just plain masochistic.

A wise Buddhist philosopher said that life is very easy for those who have no preferences.  If we do not get attached to certain outcomes, then we are not setting ourselves up for disappointment.  So, we can be rigid, or we can be flexible, and the quality of our lives will vary according to which stance we choose.

There is still one more option.  It is the one, which leads to a blissful life. This option is the one that values and celebrates all outcomes, recognizing that happy or sad, joyful or sorrowful, winning or losing – all are part of the vibrant tapestry of life.

Avid readers recognize a good story as one which reveals the depth of its characters as they evolve in relationship to the circumstances of their lives.  The best stories involve challenges and complexities in the lives of the characters, and they do not all have happy endings.  Good fiction imitates real life, and so we can expect our lives to be filled with a full spectrum of life experiences.  That’s how it is, so we need to make the most of it.

We may not have control over all the circumstances of our lives, but we can find ways to create happiness and hope, then our experience of life day to day is enhanced.  Every morning, upon awakening, we can realize we have been given two precious gifts: this day, and each other.  What we make of it is up to us.

Gwen Randall-Young is an author and award-winning Psychotherapist.  For permission to reprint this article, or to obtain books or cds, visit http://www.gwen.ca

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