A Second Lesson In Grace
but one less understood...
Grace has always been with me. It is something I would take for granted if it weren’t so evident in my life, which brings me to question why it is there, and how I remain so fortunate.
I could have some sort of belief that somehow it is because I am chosen. I suppose this is the mentality of many people. It seems quite egotistical to me, however, and it leads me to want to understand it more deeply.
There could be many reasons for this, and all of them leave me in a state of what would be considered blessed. Perhaps “blessed” is a perception of reality, and not reality itself. When I think about how life seems to always take care of me, it would be easy to take that for granted. It has always been this way for me, and I have described it in previous posts, such as finding the silver lining. I think that it is a perception that can be learned, but I have lived long enough to realize that the way my mind works makes this state easy for me, and perhaps that is an advantage that is difficult to teach.
Difficult, but not impossible.
When people read what I write I can see that it can lead people to believe that my life has been free of strife. That isn’t the case, but I think it is how my mind deals with strife that gives me an advantage. When bad things happen, and they do, some of them being simply dreadful, I don’t get consumed with the bad thing. Instead, it is just another part of life. Much like having to do your morning routine of personal care, it is a thing to be managed. It hasn’t any more impact on my life. Bad things are normal, but what is also normal to me is to not let those bad things have any real control in my life. I may have to adapt to them, but it is still my life to lead, and it will always work out in my favor.
It isn’t that I don’t cognitively understand that something is bad. I certainly can see this. There is a series of steps, and now that I have a bit of difficulty, I need to identify those steps and take them. It isn’t going to be something that will hinder my ability to find the way through.
Most of the time there is a way through, sometimes there isn’t. I do what I can, and let the rest fall where it may. This brings me back to grace. As I mentioned, it is always on my side, or at least that is how it appears. I have begun to think that my inability to engage with the dark emotional side of trials and tribulations. Because I am not bogged down, the way out is faster for me to find, and troubles only stick around in a disrupting way for a short time.
Some, or many troubles will always be with you. The faster you can acclimate to the impact of those troubles, the faster you gain control over them. Part of my ability to do this, I think, comes from my unassailable self-esteem. Nothing negative that befalls me changes who I am, and therefore its impact on my life is only something to work around, not become mired in.
People that know me from the outside think that I have lived a charmed life.
People that know me well wonder how I deal with so many things.
They’re both right, and those things aren’t as far apart as you may think.
“Me” transcends everything external. It is from knowing who I am as a stable entity that nothing makes things unstable from the outside. When I see people struggle, there is often this sense of personal failure that they have to contend with. That never occurs with me. I have the immediate to deal with. The here and now, and looking back to try to nitpick all the ways my personal failures led me to this point is not something that occurs to me.
Would you like to know why?
First and foremost, I live a considered life. I am not content with a quid pro quo, as that is just laziness. A considered life gives me something to do, and a way to challenge myself. As I have mentioned in the past, I like challenges, and considering life is a way to make it certain that I am constantly challenged.
Because I live a considered life, but also because my self-esteem is not tied to my actions, I am able to shift and correct actions in real-time without having the underlying guilt that many people might associate with that event.
When difficulties come, it has nothing to do with me. I make it a point to live the best life possible, so it isn’t because I have made a series of bad decisions. If that were the case I would have no one to blame but myself. However, because I have made it a point to be present in my life, own my actions, and the fact that even if I didn’t there wouldn’t be any emotional fallout from it, events are just things to be dealt with, the positive or negative aspect of those events are irrelevant.
I am not bogged down by negative emotions that leave me deaf to things that might be solutions around me. Things will work themselves out, and I will find a stable place to stand on, but the turmoil doesn’t cause me terrible unrest. I think because of that I am more available to see the possible roads out than maybe someone that is encapsulated in those negative feelings.
I can understand that negativity has some positive outcomes. I likely miss some of those outcomes because I cannot access that aspect of life. I can see that these feelings are important for people to go through, and perhaps they are instruments of growth. I can totally understand their importance if that is the case. I do learn from negativity, but not because the events themselves are negative, but because in all things there are lessons. I pay attention, and I apply what I learn to future things, but the negativity or positivity of an event is not something saved in my brain. Just the lessons.
There are always going to be things in your life that will require an adjustment. It may be a small adjustment, or a very large one. So long as you can acclimate yourself to the notion of change, and not allowing the concept of change to paralyze you, you will be in good shape. That is something else that is occurring to me now why I have an upper hand when it comes to difficult situations. My life is never one that is stable, and I don’t strive for that. It is always good, I am not placing myself in situations that could bring me drastic harm, but I accept and appreciate that my life is the turning pages of a book. It will never be a concrete tablet that never changes.
I never know what will come next, and that’s okay with me. When things change I will look for how I can make the best of them, and roll with the rest. It won’t always be entirely positive, but it will never be entirely negative. it is a matter of outlook and how you can change your perception.
When change comes for you don’t resist it out of habit. I get it, change can be hard and uncomfortable. However, if you are constantly looking at change as the enemy then you are going to dig your nails into the coffin of what was to avoid what is. What is can not be changed by sheer force of will, but it can be navigated with that same sheer force. Use it to your advantage, not as something that will keep you entrenched in something that is empty and over.
I see so many people cling to the carcass of what made them more comfortable than addressing the very real and present events in their lives. It doesn’t help them to be so stubborn, but I suppose it must feel good. Life is not a set point. It is not a dream that is always going to be one thing, unchanging, and static. It is a series of events. Sometimes they will change rapidly, sometimes you will exist in a lull. For people that are high-energy, and extroverted this lull can feel like purgatory. For people that are more introverted and calm, this lull can feel like a cozy blanket.
For those that are extroverted with a lot of energy, seeking constant change will exhaust you in the long run. For those that are more introverted and calm, the resistance to change will stagnate you. You have to find the in-between, and you have to find it in yourself to be the stable point in the winds of change. If you externalize that point you will always be searching the horizon for something to ground you. You should be that point. No one can do it better, but you have to have a bit of confidence in yourself.
Life for me is rather charmed. That is because the things that would make it less so aren’t what I focus on. I am always looking for what is going to make me happy. I may not feel the negative emotions that so many around me do, and I can understand that means I am not aware of the gravity of those emotions, but I know how I function regardless, and I would much rather focus on what I want, over what I have no say in.
No matter what the subject, if I can’t change it, I don’t worry about it. There may be things I can do to mitigate the impact of whatever that thing is on my life, but then the focus is on the mitigation, not the negativity. This is my state naturally, but if I were to try to pass along some observations that I may have for those that can feel the turmoil, find something that you can do. So long as you are moving, you are working, you are focused, and you have a degree of control. If you are huddled in the corner wishing that things would go back to the way they were before, you’re already behind.
Change comes, and it comes fast. Your willingness to engage it and work within it is going to determine your overall success. If you are completely focused on rewinding the clock, opportunities are flying by you at lightning speed, but you aren’t even seeing them. You just want things to go back to “normal”.
Here’s the thing about that, stationary and stable is not the norm. Change and adaptation are. We are made for this, and it is why we have survived as a species. I am wired to embrace change. It’s interesting, it’s different, and all of those things are things I like. You don’t have to be as enthusiastic about change as I am. I understand that people like to have predictable things to rely on, and drastic shifts aren’t really embraced. That’s fine, but you can learn to not dread it, and when it comes be self-focused to see how this change might be good for you.
There is nothing wrong with that perspective, and the more you can be comfortable with the notion of change, even drastic change, the better off you will be in the long run. Change is a part of life, how much it derails your life is up to you to a large degree. Save for a few circumstances, there is always a way through. Don’t fear it when it comes, read the situation, and find the best path for you forward When you see it, take it. The more you can adapt to things and see how they can benefit you and those close to you, the more of a charmed life you will lead.