Wednesday, January 28, 2015

Breathe, Smile, Laugh...

Breathe... appreciate the little things... the delightful things... look for those fleeting momentary opportunities to relax those facial muscles and lift one corner of your mouth in kind of a smile... don't resist that... go with it... nurture it... shield it from the bitter winds as you would the faltering flame of a lonely match... let it catch fire to you and grin widely... laugh in spite of yourself, at yourself, with yourself... but, most of all, smile and laugh... it's addicting... and contagious.

Sunday, January 11, 2015

Some Thoughts on Letting Go and Freedom

I think that most of you folk know that I shun creebing about my tiny, high-class problems in a public forum, just as I would not take a megaphone to a street-corner and broadcast them. However, I sometimes ruminate on my thoughts during and after some of my more interesting times, just in case someone else may find that it could relate to something that is going on with them. Then, too, I often get some fascinating perspectives from others, many of which I find helpful to me.
That said, I am profoundly grateful to a couple of dear friends for providing the springboard I needed, at just the right time, in order to make a mental leap... one which has caused me to think of a situation in a very different way, thereby making a connection between two things which I have known for a while, but just hadn't ever put together in a manner such as relates to how I am habitually used to thinking, feeling, and behaving.
There are two movie scenes I like to use as illustrations in conversation, when apropos of the general subject matter. I cannot recall ever having utilized them both in the same exchange, though.
(1) In Star Wars, Chapter III: Revenge of the Sith, Yoda counsels Anakin Skywalker by telling him, "You must train yourself to let go of everything you fear to lose." We see what becomes of Anakin when he fails to detach from his feelings and gives in to his fears by attempting to control a situation when it is not within his province to do so. 
(2) In The Shawshank Redemption, Brooks got a parole after half-a-century of being in prison, but cannot adjust to a free life, and eventually hangs himself.
Now, in using that first illustration, I am careful to point out that when one lets another person go, one gives leave to this other person to follow their own path wherever it may lead. That means one must recognize and accept that the other person gets to walk away, change their feelings, move to another place, or even die. 
I point out further that when one does this, one is not freeing this other person... for the other person has always had these rights. One is freeing one's self from a prison of one's own making in realizing this.
To let any situation go, one is called upon to make a judgment as to which things are under one's control and which things cannot be changed. Then, also... there are those things which one should not attempt to control. This freedom of will business is not to be taken lightly.
What I had never considered before is that, in letting myself out of my own prison, I must now learn how to handle the freedom.
Freedom, for someone like me, can be a scary thing. How I act freely gives measure of the content of my character. 
Sorry folks... there will be no hangings.
I tend to think that, for most persons, there are freedoms which are desired and there are those which are not sought. Likely, there are also many sorts of little freedoms, which I believe may be overlooked in day-to-day living. 
When I find myself suddenly and unexpectedly free, shall I let fear speak and act for me? I would not wish to have My Positive Eye jaundiced by bitterness or petty meanness born of despair for the loss of my comfortable cage. This is a chance to get out of my self!
I have faith that if I continue to learn and grow... if I am willing to do a little work... if I am honest... if I act with kindness and compassion... then I am on the right path and all will work out for the best in the end.