Sunday, January 15, 2017

     Last night, we saw an incredible play at one of our local theaters. The subject was dark, but one of the lines resonated with me. The lead character said, “I don’t know who I’d be if this hadn’t happened to me.” It made me wonder what events in our lives shape and define us? What has defined you? If whatever your answer is had not happened, would you be a different person?

      We all have wonderful and horrible things that occur, especially by the time we reach middle age (what is that, btw?). It could be the birth of a child, a marriage, a divorce, a tragic event of some magnitude—anything that changed you in some significant way.

     My friend said to me last night at dinner, “I used to meditate, but I don’t feel I need it anymore. At the time I did it, I was in bad shape.” I said, “Maybe you internalized the process, so when things get dicey, you automatically get calm.” She went through a tough stretch, like many of us do, and for her, meditation helped her deal with it. When you go through tough times, what gets you through them? 

      I read recently, and I’ve read this before, that when we’re dealing with those difficult times, we should look back at others we’ve endured, and do two things:  1) ask ourselves how we got through them and repeat the process and/or 2) remind ourselves that we did get through them, and we will survive again.

     Sometimes we catch a flicker of that dark time. We cringe, and we push it away and move on. Sometimes, we experience something that feels like it will thrust us into the abyss, but we know how to stop it before it gets out of hand. Sometimes we are blind-sighted, and we are thrust into the darkness with no defense. Those are the times we need to pull out our emotional arsenals and fight back.

     The play last night was one of the most powerful I have ever seen. The audience was spellbound and completely silent as the drama unfolded. The topic was dark, but the messages were clear and positive. The beauty of live theatre is, for me, seeing a real life situation from a new perspective and asking myself how I would deal with it if it were me. 

     Our lives can go from light to dark in an instant, so while we’re in the light, I believe we need to be grateful and learn from others what resilience tools they use, and then store them along with our own in a safe place so when we need them, they are there for us.