Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Three Choices

I recently read a quote, and while I have no idea who said it, it had a profound impact on me.
"When something bad happens you have three choices.  You can either let it define you, let it destroy you, or you can let it strengthen you."
I have to admit I don't choose wisely as often as I should.  In fact, I wonder if the fourth choice is "or you can whine about it."  If so, well then I know which one I pick!  (hangs head)

So how do we take those things in our lives and change them from destroyers to strengths?  How do we make our own personal definitions and avoid circumstances dictating our personal narrative?

While I think it is true that we are the sum of our experiences, there is so much choice involved in what we add up to.  We can take disappointment and turn it into motivation, we can change heartache into poetry, we can convert despair into hope.  We really do have the choice.

When I read this quote I immediately thought of my grandfather and how he was defined by the death of his younger brother.  My aunt quickly pointed out that in spite of this he found strength from his trials.  

I then started to think about how I define myself and where those definitions come from.  It was strange to realize how seemingly small and insignificant moments have changed the person I am.

Sometimes I have allowed things to define me, other times destroy me.  What I want to focus on now is how I make them strengthen me.  I don't want my life to be a literary tragedy.  I want to look back on my life and see strength.

So here is my question, how do we all get from where we are to where we want to be?  I doubt I am the only person who wishes they could find more strength from their life's experiences. If you have any suggestions, I would love to hear them!

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