By Scott Crossen
The Berthoud Recorder
Our lives seem like memoirs we continuously write, and each year another chapter closes, each a collection of experiences and teachings that bring more lessons and greater knowledge. What was best about 2008 and what was worse for you? How did choices and subsequent actions determine what occurred? Those answers may help determine the most favorable path to follow in the coming year, and how we can make 2009 the best year yet.
We can begin with one important question; what’s in our control and what isn’t? There are times in life when it appears that stuff just happens whether we like it or not, and situations seem to occur at random. However, this viewpoint is not supported by many religious and philosophical teachings throughout the world and across millenniums. The Bible, Bhagavad-Gita, Koran and Kabbalah each advocate the belief that there is an underlying purpose for everything on this earth. While we may be able to agree to this teaching at some level, understanding why certain events occur is another matter. We’re left with accepting, or not accepting, that there are specific incidents we can do nothing about. I must ask myself, then, why expend energy on those things that cannot be changed? Rather, why not apply energy to those things that can be changed?
Doesn’t it seem peculiar the way life doles out experiences that sometimes blindside us from one day to the next? Right about the time we get used to life being a certain way, POW, it changes. There’s no use attempting to guess what’s coming next – life is craftier than that. Perhaps, the best one can do to live a satisfying life is to prevent catastrophic and harmful events from happening when possible, while being flexible enough to adjust to those that cannot.
Many eastern religions and metaphysical teachings support the idea that life’s experiences are neither good nor bad – that all happenings are ultimately designed to teach. They also believe that the definition and impact of an experience is determined to a large degree by how we interpret and react to what occurs. Two people can experience the same event and have completely different interpretations and subsequent reactions. Since each of us, through our choices, determine our reactions to events, maybe it’s not far-fetched that it is up to each of us whether life is positive or negative.
Other people may respond that this type of thinking is unrealistic and that this type of attitude is not correct. However, each person’s reality is unique to themselves and their beliefs. Further, each person’s belief is based on their personal experiences, faith, and consequent expectations. Maybe, our attitudes, corresponding beliefs, and behavior determine to the greatest degree what we experience in our lives. Therefore, I’ll offer that what we truly feel is best for ourselves in our lives will be acquired more readily by believing and having faith in what we want, rather than focusing on what we don’t want. Thought, at one level or another, always precedes action.
This next year could be one of fantastic, promising, and fulfilling events that touch our lives in positive ways or it could be the opposite. There’s no shortage of opportunities for reacting in life, and we’re always provided choices.