You are late for work. You are fired from work. You can’t find a babysitter. You have to babysit on your only day off. You are given too much. You are not given enough. You are stuck in the rain. You are stuck in the house. Have a complaint? Pick one and put it here__________________.
I notice that we are often affected by a multitude of barriers that come to exist before us as we walk this path called life. We often run into situations that require our attention and either demand a positive or negative reaction in the process. How will I react to those things around me that have caused me to change in some way without my permission? How will we approach this thing or this person that has selfishly taken away our ability to find peace?
The real question is however, how much control are you willing to give over to these situations? How much of your peace are you willing to sacrifice? How much energy are you going to devote to this thing? How far are you willing to take this? Every time I think about anger issues, frustration, complaints and just situations in general, I cannot help but to also think of control. Will this situation typify us? Will it take us out of our element so that we become different people? Will it cause us to physically transform ourselves? Will it change our minds? We often look at circumstances as an external thing. It is either about an outside force against us, or a person outside of us. The truth is however; that the only power such elements have against you is the power you give it. Sometimes I look at situations that I believe are not as bad as some, but I marvel at how drastically the person has allowed the situation to change them.
It is not the reflections of others staring back at you when you look in the mirror, it is you staring back at you. You will always be your worst enemy or your best friend. The battles that take place in our lives are of our own making. They are a result of choices that we made. Even those things that are thrust upon us without permission can only grow according to our reaction to it.
“Did your forehead ever collapse in your hands when you saw me acting too human for wings? Did you ever for a second consider giving up on me? From angels who flew too close to the sons and sons who did not fly close enough to angels, did you bleed rubies? Or cry diamonds on cold and lonely nights before hearing voice mails from your children, who stuttered your name in the darkness of their bedrooms? Did you ever tighten your fist, after realizing too many prayers ended in question marks?
– Jasmine Mans
“It was the best of times, it was the worst of times, it was the age of wisdom, it was the age of foolishness, it was the epoch of belief, it was the epoch of incredulity, it was the season for Light, it was the season for Darkness, it was the spring of hope, it was the winter of despair, we had everything before us, we had nothing before us…”
I am sure Charles Dickens’s “A Tale of Two Cities” didn’t have my thoughts in mind when it opened with this paragraph. Yet, as I read it, I cannot help but to stop and to ponder how it closely describes today. Not today as it is personal to the individual. Not today as in going to work, going to school or other miscellaneous routines to which we have sculpted our clocks to mimic. Not even today in the sense of any hint of parallel or extreme depth. I’m not even talking about the constructs of the book at all really. I’m not a fan of Dickens, but I love imagery in writing. I love being able to read a description that is so tasteful that it can be compared to something completely outside of its own identity and still make sense. This excerpt is that description, while the synopsis of the book has nothing to do with it. I’m sure any writer can take something insignificant and make use of it in other situations. And as such this small piece stood out to me, making me stop to ponder and to meditate on its relation to today. Not even the entire paragraph captured me but this part did, separating itself as a reminiscence of the world surrounding us. A mixture of light and darkness. Of hope and despair. Of truth and deception. Of redemption and condemnation. It is a wonderful time but a terrible time at the same time. Indeed, we are somewhere between movement and stillness.