Soft Focus


Days like today make it easy to be happy. My brother and sister channeled pain into power today, and I know what that feels like. I know what it looks like. I was involved a bit in their gifting of it to members of Congress today, and it was a glorious feeling.

I’ve lived the opposite; I know what that looks like too. It feels like hardship and heartbreak. It feels like loss, and lies. It’s a placing of yourself into circumstances and a way of living and acting because you believe you can make a difference in the world, without taking into consideration that you cannot make choices for anyone but yourself.

We perpetuate our own fractured emotions, crush our own bones and shatter our own beliefs. We teach ourselves to see where we are instead of who we are. We mistakenly focus on how we got here instead of where we’re going next.

What do you choose to see?

We all lose people we love. Some losses are from death, some from dishonor, some from disinterest. We mourn the deaths, we become angry and bitter at times, and sometimes we are grateful for the loss of what we weren’t wise enough to let go of willingly.

This is when we have to make the decision to become less or more than we have been if we don’t want to default  to more of the same. We repeat what we don’t learn from. We can feed the destruction by dwelling on the harm caused, or we can change our direction and perception by focusing on the new reality we decide to create for ourselves.

Look back one more time if you have to. Learn. Let it go.

We can use what hurts us to garner sympathy, as a tool of manipulation, or a weapon to hurt others so that we are not alone in our pain. We can also try our best, as my brother and sister have on this day, to turn it into a laser focus of awareness and change. We can take what we know now to do and be better. We can take the new wisdoms learned and build on them, share them when asked for, re-purpose our pain.

We can use the ugly we see, feel or experience as a GPS of sorts to guide us to its opposite. We can decide to look at it clearly and refuse to give it the power of our attention by focusing on the cure, the answer and the healing of it.

Re-focus. What you take your attention from loses power.

You already know this don’t you? You’re irritated at someone, and the more you think about it, the madder you get. You confabulate conversations and situations in your head that haven’t happened (and may not) and throw yourself into a frenzy. Then much later you find out the facts of the matter, and you don’t have a leg to stand on. But you’ve been angry for days, and now you feel foolish, a little sick of yourself, and exhausted.

We forget to take the time to breathe, relax a little and decide who we will be.

Our circumstances are not who we are. The perception of us that someone else holds is not who we are. We can learn to take back the power over us that we’ve foolishly given away, stand on our own, and decide for ourselves who we are, where we go from here and what we’ll do with the time we’re given.

The better we learn to serve, respect and value ourselves, the more we have to offer ourselves and others. We can be wise enough to quit spreading ourselves so thin, and trying to be all things to all people. We can learn the difference between helping someone who asks and respecting the rights of those who revel in what they’ve got going on for themselves whether we see it as harmful or not.

We are not all-knowing. We can soften our focus. 

Words do not teach. Forced assistance does not promote growth, it promotes resentment. A lesson well-learned exhibited in a life well-lived is a light for others to follow if they choose to. We wake up every morning and by choice or default live a life of happiness or misery, we can be valiant or play victim, be freed from, or slave to, our circumstances.

We can decide to be happy and allow sorrow to ease. We can live in appreciation, focus on the lessons learned from the injuries, re-invent our purpose from the bruises of impact. We can choose to thrive.

And by our example, others are presented with choices they may not have considered.

We can live our lives in such a way.

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