At each moment of each day, we make choices for ourselves. Some of our choices are insignificant—what should we wear or what time we should leave for work. Other choices are very significant—what should we study in school or should we marry the person we have been dating. These choices govern our life from the kind of day we will have to how our lives will be shaped. When we stop and think about the enormous power our freedom to choose has, it is hard to reconcile that kind of power with the complete lack of control we have over the events that take place in our lives.
For example, if we choose to leave at 7:45 in the morning one day for work instead of 8:00 and find ourselves in an accident, our insignificant decision has now had a significant impact on our day and perhaps even our life. When we make a decision to pursue a course study at school and discover as we practice our profession that our choice has placed us in a career that was not right for us, that choice may now have us struggling with an unhealthy financial or emotional state.
In fairness, these were our choices. However, circumstances beyond our control or a lack of knowledge can put us in a situation that is undesirable. While we may not have control over how we arrived in a particular scenario or have the ability to foresee that a choice we made was not in our best interest, our power to choose remains available to us. Our attitude is one of our choices. We can choose to become angry and feel as if we are doomed, or we can choose to find a new way forward and become wiser and ultimately happier as a result of what an experience teaches us. The attitude we elect to take to life’s disappointments is ultimately what shapes our day and our lives. Our power to choose always remains intact regardless of the uncontrollable circumstances we may find ourselves in at any moment.
Each day when we wake, we have the power to decide if we will be optimistic and believe our best days are ahead of us or if we willhave a defeatist attitude and wallow in self-pity. The decision to take an optimistic attitude to life’s challenges does not guarantee a smooth journey. However, it is worth remembering that a poor attitude assures that we will continue to find ourselves in a never-ending state of anger and disappointment.
We were created to learn and grow from our experiences, not to be stifled by them. To grow, we must be willing to let go of resentment so we can make room for new joys. By willingly letting go of negative emotions and forgiving ourselves and others, we demonstrate to the universe that we are ready to welcome new blessings with an even greater level of appreciation than we had previously known.
Some situations are simply too painful for us to resolve on our own. When that happens, turn your worries and anger over to God. Let God take up your burdens so you can begin to heal yourself. Be patient with yourself. This may take time but rest assured as long as you are looking for the good in your life, you will begin to spend more time in that space and less time in a space occupied by negativity, thereby allowing new blessings to find their way to you.
Our peace is not available to us exclusively when things are going well. Our peace rests in our freedom to choose. We may not have control over the events that take place in our life, but we always have the power to choose how we respond to them.
Renee’ Gatz has been an executive in the
ﬁnancial services industry for 15 years
where she has held a variety of marketing
and communications roles. Renee’ is a
graduate of St. Peter's College in Jersey
City, NJ where she earned a Bachelor of
Science degree in Business Management while attending school
in the evening and working full time. She lives in Woodbridge,
NJ not far from her childhood home.