December 26     

Today's quotation:

Your living is determined not so much by what life brings to you as by the attitude you bring to life; not so much by what happens to you as by the way your mind looks at what happens.

John H. Miller

Today's Meditation:

This is a fundamental truth of life, yet so many people get it backwards-- they believe that their lives are determined by what happens to them.  They react to things that happen and things that other people do rather than act upon their own knowledge and instincts and feelings.  The truth, though, is that much of the way that we feel about life, much of our perspective on life, much of our satisfaction or dissatisfaction with life comes from our perspective on life and living, and not as a result of those things that happen.

And instead of "much," dare I say "most"?  Could it even be that all of the way we feel about life comes from the ways that we see things?  By the attitude that we bring to life?  Do we have the attitude of a victim, someone whose happiness or misery depends upon the chances of life, or the attitude of a person who's going to recognize the opportunities in the seeming setbacks, and the beauty in what seem to be harsh realities?

I've been laid off before; my response was to wonder what different thing life had in store for me that I wouldn't have pursued had I kept my job.  I say this only as an observation, because I feel very fortunate that I'm able to look at life this way.  My attitude saved me from a lot of anger and resentment, both of which would have taken a serious and significant toll on my peace of mind and my happiness.  We choose our attitudes, so let's choose attitudes that contribute to our happiness, shall we?

Life does happen.  Of course it does.  But the way we see what happens is the most important part of the happenings of life, after all.  If someone does something bad to me, I learn something about them rather than consider it something awful that happened to me.  If there's a setback, I ask myself what I should learn from it that I wouldn't have learned without it.  Our attitudes determine much of the lives we lead, so isn't it time that we make sure that our attitudes are honed to a point at which they can most help us and those we love, rather than harm us?

Questions to consider:

What kind of attitude do you bring to life?

Why is it so easy for us to adopt the victim's attitude and feel sorry for ourselves over things that happen to us?

How might you go about changing your attitude to one that's positive and helpful to you, if it's not already there?

For further thought:

Many of us have had the attitude that life is something that happens to us and that all we can do is make the best of it.  It is basically a victim's position, giving power to people and things outside of ourselves.  We are beginning to realize that the power rests in us, that we can choose to create our life the way we want it to be.

Shakti Gawain

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