Thursday, May 17, 2012
Being 56 years old, I think I can say I know some about life. Having had to deal with suffering and death starting in my childhood, I think I know some about those things, too. Having just put down my loving dog of 12 years yesterday makes me steal time away from my "normal" life to ponder what all of this is about and to try to make sense of it. Bear with me in my ramblings. :)
Our whole life is made up of decisions. What to eat this morning for breakfast, which blouse to wear for the power meeting today or should I let my son take karate are all decisions that have to be made and are important in our daily lives. Then, we have the ones that change our direction in life. Deciding to take that new job out of state, whether or not to have another child or to have an elderly parent come live with the family are types of decisions that effect us even more.
Lastly, but I think more importantly, are the decisions that we make in response to our life's circumstances. Our responses to the negatives (and positives) in our lives can really define us. These are the decisions that pretty much show who we are as a person. Let's say for instances, we make a decision about something and the "world" responds. (Either a person's response or just life's consequences to our decision) Now, do we consciously react to that response or do we allow ourselves to let our emotions lead us?
[I need to make a little sidebar here: I am not saying that we shouldn't let our emotions out in a positive way! We have to do that for our own mental health. My thought is that emotions running freely (especially anger) can cause a lot of trouble. Anger, hurt and a host of other emotions, if not dealt with in a positive way, can create emotional crippling and/or severed relationships.]
Back to our reactions. :)
Just reacting may feel good at first, but it's the after effect that lingers with us. We have all kinds of ways to justify it, too. We tell ourselves, "I deserved to eat that candy bar, because I had a hard day" or "She was a jerk, so I had the right to tell her off!". We then have to deal with the consequences, though. Flipping off the driver who cut us off or swearing under our breath at the slow grocery teller may not have obvious consequences, but they do effect us inwardly. In a negative way, I might add. The negative thoughts and actions can stay with us, effecting our mood long after the incident. We blame the guy who cut us off or the slowness of the teller for our bad mood, but isn't the real cause our emotional reaction to the event?
We do have a choice. We could, on the other hand, make the conscious decision to let it go and then not carry it with us further into our day. This takes a conscious thought process to release the irritation; to decide not to get caught up in the drama of what happened, to move forward instead of staying in the negative place.
All this "blog pondering" started because of the decision I had to make yesterday; one of the most difficult decisions - to end a life. When put that way, it sounds extremely cruel, but under the circumstances it was the most humane and loving thing I could do for my Rocky. Originally, i was going to write to vent my anger about how life sucked and how hard decisions can be sometimes. While writing though, my words started sinking in on how we decide and control our responses to life situations and so my decision was to take it in a different direction; one of positive instead of negative.
We all need to eventually get to the acceptance that life has irritations, hurts and death. We should never forget, however, that it is our decision how we respond to it. If you've continued to read to this point, I want to thank you. You and this blog have helped in the start of my healing. :)