It Was a Pretty Great Year

m57_nasagendler_30001“I guess it was a pretty great year after all, give or take. By all means, let us work to change the world. And when we can’t, let us make damn sure that it doesn’t change us.” – Chris Cox

Chris writes a column in the Smoky Mountain News. This quote is from a recent edition of that publication. In the article, he talks about his disappointments in the political process in 2016 – and all the good things that came his way. He’s searching for perspective.

He makes a great point. Change in our environment – political, social, religious, family – is inevitable. Some of it we welcome and easily accept. Other change may stir up anger, fear, sadness or other emotions we act out or push down and away. Either way we run the risk of changing in a way we don’t want.

Ultimately, each of us – here inside – choose our outlook. How we cope with the unexpected changes in our lives colors the world we each create for ourselves.   Am I creating a loving, peaceful, joy filled world for myself – or not? Am I taking the time to see, appreciate and be grateful for all the gifts in my life – all the miracles? Or, am I focusing on what changed that I don’t want?

Surrender is a word I read a lot in spiritual teachings. Surrender and miracles are related I think. I realize I control nothing. When I surrender my illusion of control, I am almost instantly living as and in a miracle. If I’m not in control, who is?

I do have free will and can respond to change in a variety of ways. In my personal experience, some of the ways I’ve chosen to respond to changes in my life have worked out well – other times, not so much!

I think of life as an ongoing classroom. I have no control over what change/lesson comes my way. Ok, here we go. As I formulate my reaction to the lesson, that’s where all my learning comes into play. Pass or fail? Hard to tell sometimes. Bottom line test is: how are you feeling through it all? Are you feeling? Are you on a great adventure or not?


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