Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Flowing With Life

While I was at the monastery one of the monks gave a talk where he shared that most people living in the world try to control everything in their lives when in fact they can control almost nothing. The reality is that the only thing that we can control all of the time is our own reaction to what happens to us and around us. Our inability to control everything in our lives is a source of great suffering for many people. The monks, being spiritual men, would say that only God can control everything and our greatest happiness and contentment is found when our will is in line with God’s will. For the less spiritually minded we can also find greater peace of mind by flowing with life instead of fighting it all the time. We can find greater peace in the events of our daily lives by changing the way we see things. When I got home from the monastery to discover the power was out at my house, I also discovered that my wife was in a total frenzy because she couldn’t do anything she wanted to do. I couldn’t do what I wanted to do either but I wasn’t in a frenzy. OK, maybe it was because I was in a mellow mood from a weekend at the monastery and she’s a 58 year old woman with frequent hot flashes. However, I think the real difference between my wife’s reaction and mine was our attitude. Instead of focusing on the negative I was grateful that it was a cool day and that it wasn’t 98 degrees with high humidity. I couldn’t control the wind and the rain. What I could control was my reaction to it.

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