I have continued to receive the most beautiful messages from many of you who were close to Ben, sharing how your lives have been changed as a result of having known him. Some of you have shared improving grades, having fears alleviated and an increase in self-confidence from speaking with him. I have heard how he gave his time and face timed you until you got home safely and offered comfort without judgement when you needed it most and I have heard how intensely you miss having him around. Me too!! The numerous stories from kids and adults alike are incredible and every single memory you share with me is so precious I cannot convey how much I appreciate all of you.
Often, we see our future based on our experiences and memories of the past, yet we are quick to say our perspective is not clouded. How can we not have a certain perception of the way we think things will turn out based on what we have already experienced? I believe this is where we can become the masters of creation in our lives, having the power to change our perspective and acknowledge that our past is not our future! We get to make a new decision in every moment.
Sometimes our creativity is stifled by our fear of potential criticism for doing something differently. We can become terrified of what people will think, when in reality... most of the time they don’t think about you at all.
Perhaps the things that happen in our lives are also the moments that give us the greatest opportunities to deliberately choose our thoughts and act differently.
I was reminded this week that I am also in control of my life and what I do. I can make things happen and I can choose all my actions and reactions. Sometimes a throw-away line someone says to us or perhaps the way they say it, the implication without the words of “really? you think you can do that? Wow, okay…” that puts the doubt in our minds and causes us to second guess our decisions. Yet in reality, the only person that stops us achieving what we want to achieve is US!
I had a long conversation with an amazing woman this week and she was sharing with me a book about resilience she had heard about. Naturally as soon as we hung up, I googled it and discovered it was written by a mother who lost her 13yo son many years ago in a horrific act of terrorism. She has gone on to teach many things including the power of resilience.
I couldn’t stop reading and the words I went on to read resonated so much with me I had to share it. I read that Judaism teaches that we always need to become greater, bigger, better. I interpreted this as we should always be striving to become better versions of ourselves which I think I have mentioned in previous posts. It further teaches that in order to be able to contain the new you after a tragedy, and shattered as you may feel, you need to expand yourself. Resilience is not about bouncing back but a process of becoming greater. The more I thought about this and how it relates to all of us having typical setbacks in everyday life the more sense it made.
“Resilience is connected to the word for silence and also the word for salience. What silenced you, what felt beyond language, now propels you to find salience: a heightened sense of meaning and significance”. Omgosh I LOVE this definition!
So perhaps things really do happen at just the right time and we are able to learn during moments we least expected to. And maybe life isn’t about avoiding the bruises, but collecting the scars to prove we showed up for it.