“Sometimes we can’t choose the path we are on, but we can choose how we walk it”
The quote above was made by a man who spent 16 years in prison for a crime he did not commit and was finally found innocent and released. He was asked how he endured and his response was the quote above. He endured by choosing to walk the path of an innocent person and to keep that his focus.
I am not sure how I would have done had I been sent to prison that long for something I did not do but I love what he said. We do not always choose the path we are on but it is our choice how we walk that path. We can let it make us or break us. Mandela said much the same thing. He refused to let prison bring him down and so he forgave and kept looking forward.
I did not choose to become disabled but how I “walk the path” is up to me. I can either lay back and whine and cry or I can keep moving forward, finding joy in life and living life to the fullest. That is my choice and I choose the latter. The negative, unforgiving, anger, hatred and all those other emotions bring us down and they eat away the inside of us. Remember when the power goes off and stays off for hours and when it comes back on we feel such joy? Choosing to see the good does that. It keeps the light on and keeps us filled with joy.
image from www.findingthepathforme.com
All through life, people will have events that they did not choose to have, will be on a path they did not choose and so how they handle it is how their life will be. People do not consciously choose to be poor, come from broken homes, lose their jobs, their homes, lose loved ones, fall ill, become disabled, have car wrecks, be in fires or any other traumatic experience. We just simply do not choose these things. That would be sadistic and cruel to ourselves. So, If we do not choose to have these bad things happen to us, why would we choose to increase the sadness and pain and sorrow when we can choose to see the good things?
And you will see some people who make it through these things and seem to find joy. You will see some who come through but feel bitter or angry and you will see some who never make the effort to get through them. And they do not make it. It is all about the choice and what we choose to hold on to and what we choose to keep in the front of our lives.
The man wrongly convicted that I mentioned above, could have become a hardened criminal and done things that kept him in prison but he chose a different path. And that path brought him back out of that hell and to his family. And even when we think it is not, it is our choice how we walk whatever path we are on. This man forgave everyone. See, if we harbor anger and resentment, it is carrying baggage around. When we forgive, we are releasing it and moving on. It is not saying what someone did is right. It is saying I will not allow this to hinder my life anymore.
image from www.pinterest.com
I know sometimes people say “take the high road” meaning to be the good guy and ignore what happened. Sometimes I think this works but I think choosing to walk a path that makes our life stay on a good track is more than just giving into everyone to not rock the boat. I think it is standing up for yourself, speaking out when something is wrong, stepping up to the plate and doing the right thing, remaining positive when it seems to be so negative, seeing the good that is out their instead of becoming devoured by the evil and ugliness and the list goes on. Just being able to express the things that happen helps us. It gives a sense of validation.And why not say “Well, that was pretty crappy.” and then moving on to the good things we still have?
So, how is your path today? Are you on the path you want? If not, why have you not changed it?
I love this video, not just for cancer patients but those chronically ill. This person is making the choice to smile in the worst of circumstances. That is what I try to do. I put a smile on my face and sing and dance my way through it all. 🙂 No, I am not pretending. I am choosing to be happy. There is a difference. Those pretending, it shows you are pretending.
video by Megan Kowalewski
I say this so often that it sounds like a mantra. If your choices are not making you happy, then make different choices. Our happiness is up to us and we have to make the right choices and to make our own happiness no matter what is happening. We can not depend on others to do it for us.
So, dare to smile, dare to be a little silly, dare to laugh even when life seems so hard for it will lighten your whole being and help you fight the battle. My battle cry is MOJO ON!!! Ask son sometime for he will tell you that I put on my MOJO baseball cap and as he rolls me back to the pain clinic to have the nerves burnt in my spine or rolls me in for surgery, he will tell you I have attitude. I think I might wear these for the upcoming surgery. I mean who can not smile with those on? And of course, everyone needs a leopard shawl to wear.But maybe I will put on my black long johns. LOL
Choose to do things that make you laugh, make you smile, brings joy to your heart, and releases stress. No one said life would be easy but it is up to us in how we deal with what life offers. We can either be the victim always complaining or we can be the survivor, the warrior looking for solutions to things happening in our lives. I prefer being a survivor. I do not have the “give up” gene in me. I fight to the end. And look at yourself, see yourself as a survivor for that makes a big difference in how we fight life’s battles. This is a good example of how I see myself. As sick as I really am with all the things I have wrong, I still do not think of myself as sick or disabled. Maybe because my mind is not.
image from themetapicture.com
Something about me that those closest to me know is that no matter how sick I am, I always find a way to dance. Our minds are amazing things and can take us places we want to go if we allow them. Below is a poem I wrote about me when I was at my worst and it shows you how I still time travel and still do things and still find joy in my life.
The Last Dance
With wisps of hair across her beautiful face
Tears on her cheeks your finger could trace
She stood there with head bowed in humble prayer
Feeling as if she were the only one that cared
She closed her eyes and listened once more
To the music that always drew her to the door
The music rose in tempo and sound
She knew her time was coming around
Was her dream to dance just one last dance
And she knew tonight was her only chance
Rising on toes, she danced across the stage
Her body tensing up for the very next page
As she jumped to twirl up in the air
She suddenly felt his hands right there
He lifted her higher than she had ever flown
And twirled and danced better than she had ever known
He molded himself to her as if one
And remained there lifting her until the dance was done
The applause thundered and echoed around the room
And she felt as if life had just started to bloom
As the sounds died down, she smiled with tears
Not being able to dance was one of her fears
Then she opened her eyes and looked around
Oxygen hoses and hospital beds are what she found
As she glanced down she saw her toes pointed down
And she knew only her attitude kept her bed bound
No matter what happened she could dance so free
She just had to close her eyes and the stage she would see