“The remarkable thing is we have a choice everyday regarding the attitude we will embrace for that day. We cannot change our past... we cannot change the fact that people will act in a certain way. We cannot change the inevitable. The only thing we can do is play on the one string we have, and that is our attitude. I am convinced that life is 10% what happens to me and 90% of how I react to it. And so it is with you... we are in charge of our Attitudes.” ~ Charles Swindoll
There I was, happily playing of the beach of life, building sand castles. Then, without warning, a tsunami crashed over me, destroying all I had built. And then, when the ocean pulled its killer-wave back to the deep, I lay there in a daze. The only thing I could focus on were pieces of my dreams and hopes scattered around me.
Have you ever been hit by a life-tsunami?
Most of us have been hit more than once. And when this happens we have a choice. Either we stand and move forward, or we stay down and focus on the destruction. The choice we make will either give us wings to fly, or will slip a noose around our necks. As Zig Ziglar points out, every choice we make has an end result.
Every path has at least two choices, one is easy and its only reward was that it was easy. Or is it? To stay down and grow despondent, bitter, or angry, is no way to live. And that darkness eclipses every thing we do and casts a shadow on everyone we are around.
The hard path is to trust again. Love again. Forgive. Try again. It is hard to quiet the whys? The what-ifs? It is hard to try and gain perspective, to get a plan on what to do and how to grow from our suffering. But this is what makes us stronger and deeper. It is what makes our lives a masterpiece. The shadows of life, when properly applied, deepen our character, give us dimension and make us beautiful. For example, Rembrandt’s masterpiece, Young Girl Leaning on a Windowsill (1645) is mostly shadows, but it is the shadows that highlights the brightness of the girl.
And when we are walking masterpieces, not only do we affect others with our beautiful souls, we also reflect the highlights of hope.
This week do as Norwegian explorer, Firdtjorf Nansen says he does, “I demolish my bridges behind me – then there is no choice but forward.”
Don’t let the pain of your past determine your future. Stand!