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Just Breathe

We must all be brought to our knees occasionally. That is the space in which we get to greet face-to-face the courage of our own spirits and the tender humility and humanity of our own souls. Great loss, great challenge, great struggle come to all. But only great spirits embrace these moments and the lessons they offer us. Much of humanity closes down in arrogance or fear, pretending these magnificent opportunities for growth do not exist. Hopefully, not you.

There are many things we can control. Life is not one of them. We can’t control what happens out there, nor can we control other people. The only thing that we ever have control over is our response to life at any given moment, in every circumstance. When there is an affair, when there is a death, when there is illness, when there is a lie that shatters trust with such voracity that you can barely breathe, there is also an opportunity for great growth. This is a time of great growth. The era we are living in demands it. As Diana Robertson says, “We may explore the Universe and find ourselves or we can explore ourselves and find the Universe.”

When terrible things happen our first tendency is to blame, find fault or project on to someone else the things we fear the most about ourselves. In the moment of tragedy, there are many mirrors. The first one is the truth of the moment. The second one is how we judge it, the third is what we instantly perceive ourselves to have lost, or given away and then, if we take a breath and stand in the gap, we have a choice. We can move into the dark side of our psyche with anger, rage, resentment, hatred, retaliation and depression or we can make a different choice. We can choose compassion, healing or acceptance through understanding.  Our truest beliefs are always mirrored in the moments of great crisis.

The choices we make are important not only in our personal lives but on a grander scale. Scientists tell us that it takes only a small number of people to literally begin a change in events and reality.  According to Greg Braden in a city of a million people, it would only take 100 who were fully aligned with their intention to create peace. In our world of 6 billion people, it’s only about 8000. The minimum number of people required to jump-start a change in world consciousness is √1% of the population. At some level, every thought matters.

When we wake up to the reality that we can have control over own perspective or perceptions about what has happened to us, there is a major shift in awareness. Every event and every person in your life becomes your teacher. The ones who hurt you the most and the situations that blow you away, and bring you to your knees, are often the master teachers of your life. On some level, consciously or unconsciously, you probably invited them in. Although there is also cosmic serendipity, if you lie to yourself, you will probably call in someone who lies to you. If you betray yourself, you will ultimately be betrayed. If you ignore your needs, so will others. If you love and respect yourself, chances are life is looking pretty good right now. Like energy draws like energy…. just ask Einstein.

When something difficult happens, just breathe. Take some time to ask yourself whether what you are feeling is really the truth of the situation. For instance, I had a young man in my office whose brother committed suicide. His immediate feeling was that his brother had done this to him. When people do things to hurt us, or themselves, it’s always about who they are and not about you.  Bad things happen to good people. Good things happen to bad people and life is just life unfolding. Your power and sense of balance lies in how you choose to see it. When you end up on your knees, remember that life falls apart occasionally just so you can put it back together, often  better than ever.

© Dr. Dina Bachelor Evan 2008

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