As human beings we have the potential to disentangle ourselves from old habits, and the potential to love and care about each other. We have the capacity to wake up and live consciously, but, you may have noticed, we also have a strong inclination to stay asleep. It’s as if we are always at a crossroad, continuously choosing which way to go. Moment by moment we can choose to go toward further clarity and happiness or toward confusion and pain…
Taking the leap involves making a commitment to ourselves and to the earth itself–making a commitment to let go of old grudges, to not avoid people and situations and emotions that make us feel uneasy, to not cling to our fears, our closedmindedness, our hardheartedness, our hesitation. Now is the time to develop trust in our basic goodness and the basic goodness of our sisters and brothers on this earth; a time to develop confidence in our ability to drop our old ways of staying stuck and to choose wisely. We could do that right here and right now.
– Pema Chodron, “Taking the Leap”
The above quote found its way to me through a newsletter I received in my inbox this morning. It was a good reminder for me because I have found myself slipping into that whole “victim” mentality that says we have no control over our circumstance, our thoughts, our emotions. Deep down most of us know this is not true, we always have a choice.
We can choose to see the events in our lives as an experience to be learned from even when it involves great physical or emotional pain. The lesson sometimes takes to time to unfold and the wisdom time to take hold but we do find our way there eventually. We can also choose the opposite of that and see things as random occurances with little to no meaning for us, keeping ourselves in the mode of victim. Victim of ourselves or a vengeful random “other” out there wanting to mess with us and we cower in our literal and psychological corner reacting rather than living.
At this moment I am grateful for the timely reminder that there is a better way than cowering in a corner. A better way to be, with arms open, breathing in deep the experience we call life. I know I have some inner work to do in order to walk that better way, how about you? How will you choose to view the events that take place in your life?