The Wall

“The last of the human freedoms: to choose one’s attitude in any given set of circumstances, to choose one’s own way. And there were always choices to make. Every day, every hour, offered the opportunity to make a decision, a decision which determined whether you would or would not submit to those powers which threatened to rob you of your very self, your inner freedom; which determined whether or not you become the plaything to circumstance, renouncing freedom and dignity…” – Viktor E. Frankl

The wall – an obstacle I cannot get beyond. There comes a moment in every life, I suppose, when we each are stymied by the wall. The wall of missed opportunity; the wall of misunderstandings; the wall of poverty; the wall of doubt and mistrust; the wall that is much like a steep incline where we are wearied by the effort of trying to mount it; so many walls.

And yet, are not most walls those of our own making? Did we not build them ourselves brick by brick? Or, if we did not do it ourselves, did we not contribute to their structure in some shape or form?

It is so easy to point the finger of blame, to avoid self-examination and accountability. Yes, I know there are some circumstances beyond our control. Sometimes the fates seem to align in such a way that we are well and truly trapped. But, for the most part, we do have a choice in how we live our lives – even if it is only how we respond to a given situation.

May we each be given whatever tool we need; meet whatever person we need, to dismantle the wall.

“Just as despair can come to one only from other human beings, hope, too, can be given to one only by other human beings.” – Elie Weisel

“There is meaning in every journey that is unknown to the traveler.” – Dietrich Bonhoeffer

“When we are no longer able to change a situation, we are challenged to change ourselves.”  – Viktor E. Frankl, Man’s Search for Meaning

The impact of thoughts and words

“Be careful of your thoughts when you’re alone. And be careful of your words when you’re with people.”  Author unknown

I love this concept. It is so true. Your thoughts can have a domino effect, one tumbling into another into another. Negative thoughts can cause a lot of harm – to ourselves and ultimately, to others.  Conversely, positive thoughts about ourselves, our families, friends, and coworkers build us up and help us act kindly; to be gentle with ourselves and with others.

Negative words, cruel words, words that wound deeply are to be avoided. Sometimes anger can cause a lot of harm because we are reacting to a perceived injustice.  So choosing our words wisely is a very good idea.

Sometimes life throws a wrench into our carefully laid plans. When this happens I try to see the lesson I need to learn. Sometimes the most painful of events lead us to the best situations and circumstances for our greater good. Change can be painful, but if we can find the silver lining; meet the challenge; overcome the obstacles, I think it can make us better people. But, we need to be open to receive the blessing in disguise.