"In the end, only three things matter: how much you loved, how gently you lived, and how gracefully you let go of things not meant for you." ~ Buddha
“More important than winning is getting better.” – Commentator of the Lions game
I don’t think we become the people we want to become without doing it intentionally. Who you are is largely about where you’ve come from, what you’ve gone through, and how you were raised. But who you become, from this moment forward, is completely your choice. Once you are aware of who you are now and why you are the way you are, you are now aware enough to choose who you will be in the very next moment. You can choose hate, or you can choose love. You can choose frustration and anger, or you can choose joy and acceptance. If it doesn’t seem like a choice you can make, you may need to sit a little longer with yourself and find out why you feel what you feel.
Over the past few weeks I have found myself remembering my friend Bev’s words to me during her yoga class. “The heat of life is unrelenting, but not life threatening: a perfect place to practice peace.” And with this advice in mind, I have decided to choose how to respond to each circumstance only after analyzing the initial reactions that rise in my mind. Why am I angry about what this person said? Why did I suddenly want to defend myself? Why did what that person said make me so sad? Why am I frustrated in this situation?
Only after asking myself those questions and really being truthful with myself about the answers can I choose my response. And often, I’ve found, my response must be silence. In that silence, as I process and choose, I meet with God and bring my thoughts and feelings and all my messiness to her feet, asking permission to let go.
I give myself permission to feel, to hurt, and to cry. And then I give myself permission to let it go. I give myself permission to let go of anger, frustration, bitterness, and control. I give myself permission to love through pain.
And it is a choice. It is always a choice.