Have you ever wondered about that very rare person who you’ve read about, heard about, or know, that can smile in the face of tragedy? I think we look at them as freaks and can’t really associate because the tragedy was so horrific that our minds protect us from conceiving of such a thing. You know, kind of like the Christopher Reeves experience, and how he went on with a good, upbeat nature, trying to serve and help others despite his horrific accident.
I myself can’t really relate to such a thing, as I get bent out of shape if I have run out of milk for my cereal, or if someone is getting in the way of my work out at the gym. Where I really get my panties in a bunch is on the freeways of America, as these other drivers are purposely trying to tick me off and ruin my day. You see, I create all these tragic mini dramas in my mind every day, but I don’t have any real pain or drama, and surely no tragedy. I have the luxury to internally whine, moan and feel wronged, expecting others to act how I want, and to be unrealistic in my own little bubble of life. This pits me against myself, and is harmful to my psyche, leading to less enjoyment and more frustration.
However, when tragedy happens to someone they no longer have this luxury, as almost everything they have ever known or enjoyed has been taken away from them. Little mini dramas about nothing, no longer register on their radar. Then what you see is what kind of person they really can be, what they stand for, and what is important to them. Some would not react well to tragedy, throwing in the towel, giving up and giving in, whereas others would rise up, face the situation, and utilize all that they have left to make the best of it. Which one would you be?
I think it’s an important question, because our reaction would be a reflection of the way we try to live our life each day. And that is why I have chosen emotional balance and how we deal with stress as the fourth component. It is in trying times that our true inner selves are revealed. It is then that our priorities, openness of heart, and concerns are exposed. What is it that separates the two categories of people, the ones who fight to go on and those who succumb in the face of bad breaks? According to Paul G. Stoltz, author of ‘Adversity Quotient’, we all have a certain AQ, just like we have an IQ, and this determines how we will react to adversity in our life. It really is all set up by our belief system that we are creating and molding all the time. Some people re-iterate self-defeating prophecies to themselves every day, whereas some are set on being positive no matter what happens.
The key is to form a beneficial belief system, one in which we’ve already answered the question of how we will react when difficulty comes, (because it will, it always does), and in which we have already decided our outlook on life, rather than it being dependent on our ever-changing external landscape. We need to create our own meaningful paradigm of life within, so that we know what is important to us, and can be discerning yet trusting, protective yet open, smart yet loving, brave yet soft, astute yet vulnerable, and realistic yet seeking the best in others. A system in which we live our truth and don’t need to defend ourselves, where we are calm within and listen to our heart. Of course, most of us need help to get to this healthy and loving perception of ourselves, for it is difficult in our high-charged society.
Here are a few things you can do to help guide you through all the worldly static, onto a better direction of aligning yourself with the flow of life and finding your true inner essence. You can read books such as HeartMath Solution by Doc Childre, The Miracle of Mindfulness by Thich Nhat Hanh, “The 100/0 Principle” by Al Ritter, or Stillness Speaks by Eckhart Tolle. There are different emotional freedom techniques you can pursue, through counseling, dvd’s, and a free ‘eft’ video here: http://eft.mercola.com/. A good way to get to a feeling of calm within is to focus on your breathing, making it deeper and longer, aware of the in and out breaths. This is a good starting place for meditation, which helps you to know and trust your intuition, and get out of your thinking mind for a while. There are free online meditations at http://www.fragrantheart.com/cms/free-audio-meditations.
Life is what we make of it, and this once again was driven home for me a few weeks ago on 60 Minutes as I was watching a segment on the ‘Homeless in America’. They interviewed this very precocious girl, maybe 13 years old, who was living with her dad and brother in a beat up old truck, as their father had lost his job sometime back. They asked her how that was, with the other kids at school finding out, and how hard that made things for her. This brave girl stood there and responded with words well beyond her years, “Oh it’s alright, it’s fine, it’s only life”. I was stunned by her answer, and so proud that she had that kind of intuitive wisdom at such a young age, knowing right then she would be more than fine in life. The family managed to get second hand clothes, attended free community and after school events, and found new places to park the truck to sleep at night. While much of America goes on worrying about losing their home, lifestyle, and jobs, those fears have already come to fruition for this family – and it is okay. Even in the most dire of situations, life usually goes on.
It’s just a perception that things are great or terrible, because life is life, and doesn’t change. Circumstances change, and are an unending reality of life, yet it is your perception of them that shapes you. As Gnarls Barkley sings in his song ‘Crazy’, “And I hope that you are having the time of your life, but think twice, that’s my only advice.” If things seem too good to be true, or too bad to be true, they most likely are just that – not truly that good or bad. When we are having great pleasure all seems well, but of course adversity is just around the corner. And when things seem so gloomy and bad, a smile from a stranger or a gesture from a friend is there letting us know we are not alone.
So remember, it’s just life, and as you go onward realize that everyone else is just like you, looking for a way to be happy. Anything they seemingly do wrong to us, we have already done to others in some form, with or without our knowing it. If people are mean or inconsiderate to you, it is because of what is going on in them and their own problems they are dealing with, so don’t take it personally. Live in this world, but don’t be of this world. Cherish the pure consciousness you’ve been given in human form, but don’t lose yourself and the ability to hear the beat of your own drum.