On Choosing Light

This week has brought a lot of life. A lot of raw emotion, a lot of varied feelings, a lot of ups and downs, a heavily concentrated view of so many different facets of this funny human experience we’re all in together.

This week has almost cruelly illustrated how we can look at the same thing and have such starkly different interpretations. Our reality is construed. Our experience is so largely manufactured by our own mentalities and framework.

I read not long ago that our general attitudes and values are about one-third dictated by our genetic predisposition. One-third. 33% is how much you get to blame Mom, Dad, Grandma Pearl… The remaining 66 is all you, it’s all me. Our experiences, learned behaviours and reinforced habits are in large part reversible, and more or less* on us.

*In no way do I mean to trivialise the horrors that many, many people undergo on a regular basis and have lived through to bear the heavy scars. What I’m clumsily trying to express is that even in the darkest hallways of our minds, choosing light, choosing truth, choosing to live with authenticity are always choices that are availed to us. Moreover, I think that in those dark moments it becomes even more important to do so.

xxx

About a year ago I began an exercise in gratitude. Each day I jot down three things I’m grateful for. They’ve ranged from the minute and trivial to the downright miraculous. It’s been a powerful tool, one that’s created a heightened awareness of the good and given me a more rooted perspective on the not-so-good.

Neuroplasticity is a buzzword of late. The ability to tailor our own experiences even to the point of physically rewiring how our brains process information. It’s gotten me thinking on how crucial it is- more so than a feel good Pollyanna exercise- how essential it is to cultivate an attention to the good, the beautiful, the naturally occurring wonders in daily life. The more good you choose to see, the more you see. And so it goes.

“Out of suffering have emerged the strongest souls; the most massive characters are seared with scars.”

“For what is it to die but to stand naked in the wind and to melt into the sun? And when the earth shall claim your limbs, then shall you truly dance.” 

Kahlil Gibran

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One Comment

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  1. Good thoughts, well written.

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