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Friday, August 9, 2013

Taking the Bad with the Good and Loving through It All

Some rights reserved by Avital Pinnick
"It was the best of times, it was the worst of times." So begins Charles Dickens' classic The Tale of Two Cities. It could also have been the tagline for this week. It was a week in which a flare spontaneously ignited in the trunk of my son's car causing a small fire ... but, it was also the week in which I got cast for a role in The Laramie Project, a play that I desperately wanted to be in. It was a week in which we got some very disappointing news regarding a work situation ... but, it was also the week when both my husband and I had some very enlightening self-discoveries. In other words, like many weeks that all of us have ... it was filled with the good and the bad.

I think that somewhere along the line, many of us learn to think
 of the good stuff as somehow earned or merited. Conversely, the negative stuff is seen as some sort of punishment or deserved suffering. But that's kind of silly when you think about it because sometimes the bad stuff is what leads the good stuff or makes it possible, at least. And, in other cases, something that seemed like "the good stuff" several weeks ago, turns out to be not so good at all once we've lived into it.

More and more, I think that I am beginning to figure out that our lives are full of "stuff" and whether it is perceived as being "good" or "bad, the "best of times" or "the worst" depends upon context, the people involved, our own feelings and/or disposition at the time, and a host of other variables over which we have little to no control. The one thing I can control, however, is my reaction ... my response to the stuff.

Over the past several weeks, I have tried to be much more intentional about taking time during my day to mentally step back and just breathe (both physically and mentally). Whether it's in 5, 10, or 20 minute snippets ... just taking a break to reflect upon who I am and where I am in my life has helped me to put both the stuff that I perceive as great, the stuff that I perceive as horrid, and all the stuff in between into perspective.

So ... those are my words of wisdom for today: Remember to breathe. It's helpful in the best of times. It's helpful in the worst of times.