Does Life Happen To Us or For Us?

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Here's the question: Does life happen to us or for us?

As Connie and I look back on our lives, it appears that it has been happening to us. But, for a good deal of our lives, when we were in the midst of it all, it looked like it was happening to us.

What if everything that life brings us is a gift?

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For so many years it looked to us like life was happening to us. That we were simply the recipient or victim of what life brought. That we didn't have control over much of what came into our lives. And it was what came into our lives that created our experience.

It looked like what we experienced was beyond our control. And then I began to see that not only did I feel like a victim when things happened that I didn't like, but that many of the things that happened that I did like were beyond my control too.

I saw how this lack of control in life left me feeling like a victim. A victim of either bad circumstances or good circumstances. But a victim none the less. That's kind of a hopeless point of view. But I couldn't see my way around it.

This idea of life happening to us or for us is similar to the idea of a glass being half empty or half full. Seeing it as half empty, I'm the victim of bad circumstances. Half full, I'm the victim of good circumstances.

And, the simple truth is, the glass has just so much in it. It's just a fact. A neutral situation, neither good or bad. The idea of it being half empty or half full, good or bad, is what we bring to the situation. And this idea that we bring to the situation is what creates our experience in that situation.

When we begin to see that it's the way we view life, the thinking we bring to a circumstance (that is always neutral) that creates our experience of life. The lens I view my life through determines my experience of it.

What if life actually just happens? Not good or bad, it just happens. And then we add a story about what happened or what's happening and our experience reflects the story. Our experience is coloured by the meaning we give to what's happening.

So, how do we free ourselves from being victims of life? It's simple... but not always easy.

As we begin to see that it isn't our circumstances that create our experience, but the thinking we bring to it, we naturally gain a broader perspective. With this, we can pause. Relax. Allow our mind to settle. From that settled mind, the neutral nature of life unfolding can be seen. From here, you're no longer a victim but a participant in life, growing and expanding with each new experience, like everything else in life.

The recipe this week is Broccoli Slaw. A new twist on coleslaw that's very fresh and satisfying.

To your Amazing Health,
Connie and Bill