Attitude is EVERYTHING
Our attitudes determine whether we feel fulfilled or empty, wealthy or poor, happy or sad, accepted or rejected. It is the rudder of our ship and determines the course of our lives. It is more important than how much education we have; how clever we are; the level of our particular skills; our past accomplishments and future prospects, or how much money we have in the bank. Throughout our lives, it influences our friendships and all other relationships. Quite simply, it is the seminal factor in a life well lived versus one that is a constant struggle. Current research suggests that positive attitudes about aging are a greater factor than wealth, gender, or even our cholesterol levels in adding years to our lives.
We are what we believe. Our belief system is based on our past experience, which is constantly being relived in the present with an anticipation of the future being like the past. Our present perceptions are so colored by the past thing that we are unable to see the immediate happenings in our lives without distortions and limitations. With a sincere willingness we can re-examine who we think we are in order to achieve a new and a deeper sense of our real identity.
To experience this sense of total freedom, it is important for us to detach ourselves from past and future preoccupations and choose to live in an immediate sense of NOW. To be free also means not to be confined to a reality that seems limited by our physical senses. This, in turn, allows us to see and to participate in the love we already share with everyone.
Love can be looked upon as the total absence of fear. While all of us want love, many seem unable to experience it with any consistency. Our guilty fears from the past block our ability to give and receive love in the present. Fear and love can never be experienced at the same time. It is always our choice as to which of these emotions we choose. By choosing love more consistently than fear, we can change the nature and quality of not only our relationships, but our entire lives.
When we perceive another as “attacking” us, we usually feel defensive and find a way, directly or indirectly, to “attack” back. Attacking always stems from fear. No one attacks unless he or she first feels threatened and believes that through attack, one’s own strength is demonstrated at the expense of another’s vulnerability. As with all defenses that are designed to keep guilt and fear from our awareness, attack usually preserves the problem.
Most of us cling to the belief that “attacking” can really get us something we want. We seem to forget that “attacking” and “defending” do not bring inner peace. In order to experience peace instead of conflict, it is necessary to shift our perception. Instead of seeing others as attacking us, we can choose to see them as fearful. We are always expressing either love or fear. Fear is really a call for help and therefore, a request for love. It is apparent then, that to experience peace we must recognize that we do have a choice in determining what we perceive.
Many of our attempts to correct others, even when we believe we are offering constructive criticism, are really attempts to attack them by demonstrating their “wrongness” and our “rightness”. Thus, it may be helpful to examine our motivations.
Are we teaching love or are we demonstrating attack?
If others don’t change in accordance with our expectations, we are likely to regard them as guilty and thus reinforce our own belief in guilt. Peace of mind comes from not wanting to change others but instead, merely accepting them as they are. True acceptance is always without demands and expectations.
It seems black and white to me, especially after listening to a song this evening from the 1980’s called The Living Years by Mike and the Mechanics which confirmed that we have the ability and power to choose our attitude in any moment, regardless of the circumstances.
I am hopeful about healing my own mind and heart, and having harmony and integrity in all I think, say and do…the ingredients for Peace of Mind.