Victor Frankl once said, “Everything can be taken from a man but one: the ability to choose his attitude in any given circumstance, to choose his own way.”
Perhaps you never realized it but you are choosing your own way right now, in the middle of this pandemic. You are choosing to shelter in place. You are choosing to wear a mask when you go out. You are choosing to sacrifice your freedom for the betterment of everyone. I see this pandemic as a trial of epic proportions.
You have always had the freedom of choice, to choose your own way, each and every day. Yet only now is it so visible to everyone and most important to yourself.
This is nothing new. The Christian faith has always talked about free will, choosing between good and evil. Buddhism talks about choosing to follow the 8-fold path or to live a life of suffering; suffering through the guilt or shame or regret from your actions or at the end of your life when you realize it was a life left unfulfilled.
Funny as it may sound, this pandemic is your opportunity, the opportunity to discover what you naturally fall back on instead of actively choosing your way. And that is the real question at hand. Are letting your brain choose your way for you or are you allowing your character to speak through the little choices you make every day, often without even being aware of them?
If there is one thing to come from this pandemic, perhaps this is it. This is your awakening. To realize how you naturally default so that you can understand how you handle yourself, and if you are comfortable in that default.
Do you naturally run in fear to save yourself and your belongings? Do you dig your heels in to stand and fight to protect what is yours, or do you turn to help those around you? And, if so, how far does your empathy go?
Perhaps your empathy stops with your family, or with your friends. How far are you willing to reach out and help those around you? How close of a friend does someone have to be in order for you to help them? Are you comfortable with that distance and with what you see in yourself, with how far you’re willing to reach out your hand?
You have little choice in this situation. We are all coming face to face with our true nature. The decision to self-quarantine, the choice to social distance, the choice to wear a face mask. You are actively making choices; you are actively choosing how you make your way through this.
Your freedom to choose is no different than what is at the core of every religion. Free-will is something we have all been imbued with. Free will is at the core of my own belief system, to choose to follow your own simple truth or to fight against every cell in your body, jumping from distraction to distraction, wasting energy and living your life unfulfilled and suffering for it.
Are you wandering aimlessly, letting your brain drive your choices or are you living a life of purpose? One path leads to unhappiness, shame and regret. The other to satisfaction, balance and a life fulfilled.
It’s actually very simple. Every cell in your body is aligned to live by your own simple truth. No matter what you do, the further you get from your life’s purpose, your simple truth, the unhappier and less fulfilled you become.
If you wonder why you keep asking yourself “what am I missing? Why am I so unhappy?” that is the reason. Your heart, mind, and spirit keep moving forward to reconnect with your own simple truth, but your physical self, your brain is constantly driving your body to run off in pursuit of whatever distraction it has decided will ease your suffering.
Whether that is in pursuit of greater security, in search of Love, or some form of recognition. Security, Love, and Recognition. Those are what all of your physical decisions are based on. And yes, your brain is part of your physical self. Unless you know what your Simple Truth is, what your life purpose is, you will continue to waste your time and energy running against what you innately know to be your life’s purpose.
After all is said and done, will you spend your time following the distractions of your life or will you embrace your life’s purpose and enjoy the fulfillment your journey offers?
One path allows you to find comfort in your discomfort with grace and dignity. The other will lead you to weep and cry out at the indignity of it all. Will you learn to find comfort as you check in on your emotions and your responses to them, or will you let your auto-responses manage your life? Will you eat your way through the discomfort of this pandemic, or go on an online shopping spree, knowing you will suffer the consequences when it’s all over? Or will you accept the madness spinning around you as you breathe and return to your core values to follow your life’s purpose?
Only you can decide this. Only you have a window into your inner-workings, your thoughts and your emotions. Your own Simple Truth.
The choice is yours, and yours alone to make.
I wish you wellness and safety. And I hope you will always be pleased with the person you truly are?
Your Simple Truth is all that really matters. Anything else is simply a distraction that will eventually lead to a life lived in pain and suffering.
A life unfulfilled. Be safe and I wish you well. I truly hope this helps. Jeff