November 14, 2008

So Much Depends on My Attitude

"Our...happiness...[is] not necessarily determined by what happens to us in our lives, but how we perceive what happens to us.

Life happens. It happens all day, every day, and there really isn't much we can do to stop it from doing so. With all of our interactions with other people, it's inevitable that someone, some time, is going to do something that hurts us in some way. Some things are going to happen that make it seem like the world is conspiring against us. But the important thing about that, of course, is how we perceive the occurrences, how we see what happens to us.

"If we take the world and its happenings with a grain of salt, we can keep in mind that things really aren't that bad, that everything is a matter of degree. In that perspective lies a realistic view of the world that can allow us to take the things that happen with a high degree of equanimity, with a pragmatism that tells us that yes, things may be going poorly, but life is a series of cycles, and things always come around for the better unless we don't allow them to do so. Many of us do, in fact, keep the better things from happening simply because we get so caught up in the bad things that we tend to perpetuate them in our lives, often unconsciously.

"You don't always have control over the occurrences of your life, but you most certainly do have control over your perspective, over how you see things. What are you going to do with that perspective--train it to see the positive side of everything, or allow it to drag you with it when it focuses only on the negative?...

"For further thought:

'Remember, a small trouble is like a pebble. Hold it too close to your eye and it puts everything out of focus. Hold it at proper viewing distance and it can be examined and classified. Throw it at your feet and see it in its true setting--just one more tiny bump on the pathway.'

--Barbara Johnson"

From Living Life Fully

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