“Character cannot be developed in ease and quiet. Only through experiences of trial and suffering can the soul be strengthened and vision cleared, ambition inspired and success achieved.” – Helen Keller
I don’t know I agree that suffering is the one-and-only way to build character, but it sure can be a shortcut!
In the last year or so, I’ve been refining my personal philosophy. Taking the foundation I had already and expanding it. It wasn’t really a planned thing, but that’s how it’s working out and I like it. And as I think (and talk, and write) my way through this process, I’m finding it becoming easier and clearer all the time.
I’m also finding myself straying further outside the norm, but I try not to bother much about that.
I am looking to drop as much judgement as I can manage about what’s “good” and what’s “bad.” Of course, absolutely there are things I see around me I don’t want, as well as much celebrate.
But when I move my focus from what feels good to me, to what feels bad in order to “fix” or even neutralize the people that perpetuate the “bad,” invariably I start to veer off course. And I know I’m off course because it feels terrible and I lose my sense of being plugged in.
Basically, I see all the aspects of life as being served up on a plate. And there’s stuff on that plate I love, and stuff on the plate I despise. I can either spend my time devouring what I love and looking for more of that, or raging against what I despise and yelling at people they should not make any more of this awful stuff.
Passion is never a problem. Passion is always a gift. It’s what you DO with your passion that can feel good or not. Trying to control outside conditions is slow-moving and difficult trek. Controlling your own perspective, on the other hand, is relatively easy and you’re still contributing to the sum total of what you see as good.
All that having been said, not everything you run across is welcome. And that’s fine. Sometimes, challenging or painful circumstances can help propel us to a new level of understanding and really crystalize priorities in a way nothing else seems to do. And that’s all fine and well. In fact, that’s good. Because if you can see the good in everything that happens, extract that benefit and blessing out of it to appreciate, you will find a freedom that no other perspective can grant.
[bctt tweet=”Always reach for appreciation. It makes the best of everything. #OnMyRadar” via=”no”]
If you can get to the point you can extract appreciation from EVERYTHING you see, at least some part of it, then you have found a rock-solid center that becomes scarcely shakable. Making the best of what you have, doing what you can with where you’re at now, making peace with whatever is going on around you? THIS is the path to connection. This is the path to joy. And believe it or not, this is also the path to positive change and growth.
But don’t take my word for it. Try it yourself, if you’ve a mind and see if it doesn’t work for you, too.
Do you look for the value of trouble?