This week I was going to be telling you about my one year soberversary (which is actually happening tomorrow). But the news of Nepal’s massive earthquake has got my mind thinking about something completely different. There goes life again, changing my plans! And there it is, my subject for today.
Life changing our plans.
The last 24 hours I’ve been thinking a lot about the earthquake in Nepal. As soon as I heard the news, I felt crushed. Sadness, grief, empathy – and this loud voice inside me telling me that I have to do something to help (I have a bunch of ideas brewing inside my head, so once I’ve grown them enough to be shared, you’ll be the first to know).
There’s a lot that we can’t control in our lives – natural disasters, government decisions, weather, war. Other people’s thoughts, opinions and things they say to us. Time going by. Life is full of external factors impacting us and playing a role in how our lives end up being.
Imagine, you’re walking along this beautifully relaxing forest path and then suddenly someone jumps out from the bushes and scares you into running down a new path. Or maybe a tree falls down and blocks the way, narrowly missing you on the way down, and you’re forced to take a different route. Or maybe you come across a man blocking the path and he tells you that you’re no longer allowed to be on that path, it’s for people with different skills/looks/talents than you, and you better get your ass off it right now!
The story of our lives is filled with outside influences. So many people get upset, angry and frustrated by these, as if they weren’t mean to happen, and then run around trying to bring everything back to how it was before it happened. They try to stay on that path, fighting with the tree and the man standing in their way, refusing to accept that it’s time to move on.
This isn’t how it works. The outside influences are part of the plot. They’re part of your storyline.
So one of the biggest lessons in life is deciding how you’re going to deal with your outside influences.
Because they’re the things we can control. How we react when things happen that we didn’t plan for, or when things don’t go our way. What we do with our lives. How we treat other people. The decisions we make and what we share with the world around us. How we accept change.
It’s these things that make us the people we are. It’s these things that make us grow and open us up.
This is what makes you special.
Accepting the outside influences, and even welcoming them, allows you peace in your life. You’re no longer fighting, you’re no longer panicking. You’re just floating with the tide as it moves in and out. You’re switching paths left and right without thinking about it and without even breaking a sweat.
I agree, it’s easy to say, and really hard to do. Right now, it’s really hard for me to accept that a country like Nepal, that already had so little, is now completely devastated and has even less. I can’t speak for them, of course. I can’t even imagine it for them. But for me in my life, I can choose to use this as an opportunity to help and to give back to a country that touched my soul and gave me so much.
So let’s think about you for a moment. Are there areas in your life where you’re fighting that inevitable change? Maybe refusing to accept something that’s happened to push you onto a new path?
Is there a way for you to accept that change with grace and dignity, and allow it to integrate into your life without pushing so hard against it? Can you see it as an opportunity, look to it as a way of self-development and growth instead of staying stuck where you are?
As that oh-so-famous quote from Reinhold Niebuhr says:
“God grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change, the courage to change the things I can, and the wisdom to know the difference.”
I’d love to hear your thoughts below, so please, jump down into the comments and let me know about the changes in your life.
With love and lifting ourselves up,