Circumstance or Quality Driven?
Most of us live our lives going from circumstance to circumstance and developing immediate feelings about those circumstances. I have definitely done this in my life and I felt that I didn’t have much control over the circumstances or the feelings I had. If I was hit by a car while driving I would be angry. If I was late for an appointment I would be agitated. Seems pretty normal right?
Well eventually I realized that I did have a choice on how I reacted to what happened to me. See there was the circumstance and then there was the meaning I attached to it. Someone else may have been hit by a car and been sad. Some people may even be happy if they didn’t want to go to work that day and it saved them from going in. Some people who are late don’t mind at all. The circumstance can be reacted to in so many different ways by each person who experiences it. Charles Swindoll says, “Life is 10% what happens to me and 90% of how I react to it”. Do you agree?
I believe his quote gives us an opportunity to look inside ourselves and see what comes out when we feel pressured by circumstance. We all do well when things are going positively and life is good! What happens when life is giving you circumstances that are difficult? How do you tend to react? Is your default emotion anger, sadness, joy, confusion? My typical response when things weren’t going my way was to either be sad or angry. That is, until I realized that I had a choice.
Now I get to step into a meaning around a circumstance that serves me in a positive way. When I get a flat tire, I can choose to be joyful. When my husband is sick and I have to take care of him instead of going away on a Girl’s weekend, I can choose to be empathetic and loving. When I get home from work and the kitchen is a mess I can choose into peace. I always have a choice. Even in the worst circumstances we ALWAYS have a choice.
What choices will you make today when you feel pressured by life’s circumstances. What will come out of you when you’re squeezed? I would encourage you, like I do myself every day, to choose into a positive reaction. If the quote above is true, then most of our lives are run by how we perceive things and not what actually happens to us. What qualities do you want to step into today? Who do you really want to be? What kind of life will you create just by changing your mindset? Good food for thought!