All Aboard

Sometimes we get on a train of thought that is taking us somewhere we don’t need to go. The alarm clock doesn’t chime, the newspaper is wet, and the cat messes on the carpet. It’s easy to believe “Nothing goes my way.” We’re late for our first appointment and we add, “It’s always been this way and it always will be.”

We can embellish that belief with more “proof” or we can stop and practice presence in the moment. We can notice what is right this moment — we have enough air to breathe, we have clothes to wear, we can appreciate being alive this second. By being available in the moment we board another train.

There are any number of trains we can take. No matter which we choose, we’re all going home. The journey may be comfortable or challenging. One train isn’t preferable to another. We can choose the drug addict/incarcerated train or the respectable/law-abiding train. It doesn’t matter.

We all need to learn and to grow and to practice self-acceptance. One scenario may garner approval from the society while another insures locked gates. But we all have the same lessons to learn. And the lesson is not about being successful.

Our challenge is to acknowledge the flow within us and around us and to work with Life. We find peace when we accept that state of affairs. It’s momentary and ever-evolving, but it’s the only game that really matters. If a drug addict works to insure his sobriety, a jail cell may be his perfect situation. If a felon learns forgiveness by delving to the depths of who he is and working through his self-hate, prison may be his church. If the wealthy attorney never gets past his need to compete, he’s missed the point. If a famous actress doesn’t love herself, she’s lost in the midst of her fans.

Life is about welcoming our challenges. We value our experience no matter what it is and we never blame others. The corollary to “Don’t take anything personally” is “Never make the issue interpersonal.” Our feelings are ours. Whatever I experience this second I need to experience and I own it and embrace it and learn from it. I don’t try to escape from my inner world by fleeing into busyness or distraction or thinking or controlling. Gratitude is always an appropriate response. This moment is perfect for me to learn what I need to learn. The only question is, Will I? 


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