By Bernadette A. Sahm
We choose how we think, how we feel and how we respond. Every situation in life affords us choices. Do we want to respond with love and in peace or with anger and hatred. If you follow me and read my blogs you know that I have experienced my share of loss and hurts, it hasn’t always been easy nor did I ever expect it to be smooth sailing. A full and rich life is about gathering as many lessons and experiences as you can. It is about knowing love and knowing hurt, it is the ability to know up and down.
Not every day is going to go your way. Just like we will come to know sunshine we will come to know a rainy day.
A few days ago I had a special event fundraiser, it happened to fall on the same date as the anniversary death of my first husband. Of course I thought of him, I always do, he has been gone for 37 years now. I remember that day so clearly, it was a Tuesday morning when I would learn of his accidental death. He had a seizure in the shower and drown to death in just a few inches of water. His death was shocking and completely unexpected. It taught me much, most of all that life is for the living, live it!
I was only 23 when Randy died, very young and inexperienced in life. I had this idea that my bad days and ugly hurts were behind me. I had that experience and believed the rest of my life would be happy, smooth sailing and full of joy. That was not at all realistic.
Through the years my life would be impacted by abuse, by family estrangement and family diagnosed with mental illness. More life, more living, more experiences. What did I learn? I l learned that regardless of what I am facing and experiencing in life, I choose how I will respond. Do I wish to be a victim or a victor? It is and always was my choice.
How we view things has so much to do with how we respond, and when we make the choice to respond with love and with peace then whatever we are facing allows us to move forward in humility and kindness. The only way I know is what my faith in God teaches me. I choose to see the face of God in every single person, I believe we are all created by God Almighty.
When I see an act of violence or hatred in people, I think what happened? What happened to that person who thought it was okay to rob someone or rape or murder. What caused them to make that choice? I may never know the answer to that question but what I do know is that everything we do in life, every decision we make is our choice.
Through the years I have learned to look at the people in my life as either a “teacher” where I am to learn from them and the experience or a “lover” where I am to give love and/or receive love. The choice to see even the most difficult people in my life as a “teacher” gives the situation value as opposed to being a negative. Certainly I could have done without the “haters” in my life, but then I would not have learned the lessons.
I choose to view my life as being filled with blessings, I am blessed. For the past 28 years, I have lived in the same house with the same man. My husband loves me and in that unconditional love I have healed from many hurts.
“… the Lord will fight for you, and you shall hold your peace and remain at rest.” –EXODUS 14:13-14
There are plenty of people who are bitter and unhappy they carry a grudge and grievances, and then wonder why they have the life that they do? It’s a choice, it’s all a choice. Life doesn’t happen to you, it happens for you. What we choose ultimately determines the outcome. I am happy and it isn’t by accident. I choose happiness and I choose it over and over again …
We witness ugliness and unattractiveness in life and for me, I choose to combat it with healthy relationships, more God, more love, more kindness, more generosity. And sometimes when I feel low I reach out to God and others, and a few flowers, chocolates and pretty things don’t hurt either.
Simple pleasure are often the best! Make good choices … make a good life and one that you can reflect back on and be proud of how you handled yourself and all the situations that you found yourself in … all we have is this moment in time, why not make the best of it with good solid heartfelt choices?
Peace and much love…
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