A friend and I met for coffee the other day. We caught up after not having seen one another for a few weeks, and from the moment we sat down, I could feel the frenetic buzz of stress emanating from her. As she launched into the litany of events that had happened in her life since we’d last gotten together, I watched her physicality, emotionality and energy change. Each highlighted situation about which she spoke, landed like a boxer’s punch to her body, her spirit, until she had seemingly let life beat her into the corner of its ring. There were things that her boss had “taxingly” suggested, that her coworkers had “snidely” done, that strangers on the street had “insensitively” hurled. By the end of her recap, she was nearly panting, while having to lean against the metaphorical ropes. It made me realize how often we we allow ourselves to think that life happens TO us. And legitimately so. Life circumstances, experiences, pains and pressures come. They COME. But what if we took a beat, and shifted our expectation by only one word, thereby shifting our perspective by leaps and bounds?
Instead of life happening TO us, what if we trusted that life is happening FOR us?
What if we chose to take each person, each word, each action, each event that shows up in our day as an offering instead of an indictment? What if we chose to start our day by taking a moment to establish the emotions that we WANT to feel, instead of immediately feeling at the mercy of reacting to other people’s emergencies, agendas or perspectives? And, by doing so, what if we gathered evidence to support that emotion for which we set that day’s intention?
In other words, what if we actually recognized the omnipotent power we have to create a moment, a day, a life that we want, rather than be sentenced to a life that everyone and everything inflicts upon us?
We are autonomous beings, each with our own unique superpower of brilliance, individual perspectives and desires; each with our own paths and gifts to share. How can another person possibly know everything that we have been through, everything that we feel, everything that we want, unless we express it through our thoughts, our words, our actions...and first and foremost, through our own intentions...?
If we can acknowledge the multifaceted myriad of experiences, attributes and beliefs that make up ourselves, we can then begin to understand and appreciate the complexity of others. And instead of seeing them as an opponent in the boxing ring of life doing something TO us, we can see them as a trainer offering their expertise to challenge us with another perspective, inspire us to get healthier, and educate us with more information. All FOR the pleasure of this raucous ride we call life.
And, ultimately, all FOR our GROWTH.
DING DING DING...back to our corners, round one is about to begin...
Polo REO Tate was born in Lansing, Michigan, where her family has deep ties to the community. Her Great Great Grandfather was Ransom Eli Olds (R.E. Olds), a pioneer and prolific inventor most notably responsible for inventing the first internal combustion automobile—the Oldsmobile. Growing up, [...]