If we accept that we are largely the authors of our own circumstances, we do two other things too; firstly, we accept responsibility for how the rest of our lives go, and secondly, we liberate ourselves into the choice of where we want to go next. We largely get to decide our lives, whether they’re empty, aimless and wasted, or fruitful, purposeful and fulfilled.
I was castigated recently for saying this; my accuser chastised me for having no sympathy for victims of circumstance, that I was insensitive and callous, in need of a good lesson in hardship, which would soon change my tune.
Some of what he said was true, there are times when circumstances conspire to waylay the best laid plans, and we all need a bit of help and advice now and again. And I like to think that I was never too proud to ask if I thought I needed it. But it wasn’t the whole truth.
We also have within us a self-sufficiency, an ability, to cope. Knowing this allows us deal with adversity. We tend to explore possibilities, however remote. It opens the mind and the heart to our strongest instinct; survival.
In times of survival, conventional limitations like outside opinion, criticism, discouragement, fear of failing, evaporate. We see what has to be done, take a decision, and do it. We resurrect, discover, resources and abilities. We may even exemplify the power of the human spirit.
And that’s the word, isn’t it? Spirit.
The dormant forces of our potential come powering into reality. The spirit, the heart, the basic elements of who we can be, who we are, unearth themselves and flourish. And even if the final outcome isn’t exactly where we’d intended to go, it’s a hell of a better place than the one from from which we started.
Watching people, seeing them respond, cope, deal with the vicissitudes of life, has reinforced my belief that what makes the difference is attitude, or to use the current term, mindset.
We can wallow and let ourselves be overcome by adversity, or we can ask ourselves, ‘How can I deal with this…?’, ‘How can I fix this…?’, What can I do to help myself here…?’, or any other question that sets the mind searching for an answer.
That search, with the belief that there might, just might, be a solution to the problem, is what can change the viewpoint, generate the energy, release the creativity, that brings anything into the realm of possibility.