For Those Who Died By Violence

Life is what you make it. I can't even remember the first time I heard that phrase, but in the past it always carried a negative connotation with it. It was handed out like a justification for any unhappiness in life, without any compassion.

If only life was that simple.

I've come to realize the truth in that phrase. I know the choices we make in life, and how we view our choices in life, is what makes our life better or worse. But we are always confronted with the reality of others' choices who, obviously, may choose differently than us. That is where the real challenge comes. How do we maintain a good life when the choices of others directly or indirectly causes us pain?

It seems to me that most people are able to build a "shell", an outer wall, around themselves so that the pain and suffering of the world doesn't overwhelm them. They are able to recognize it, and sometimes do things to help others, but they don't become traumatized by every news report. Other people will dedicate their lives to helping others to cope. Yet others will become recluses, cutting off as much contact with the rest of humanity as possible.

Even at 42 years old, I still haven't found out how to effectively cope with the pain and suffering I see in the world. I work very hard at focusing on the blessings in my life, of which I know there are MANY. I am truly grateful. I do what I feel I can to make the world a better place. But not a day goes by when I am reminded that not everyone is as lucky as me. Not a day goes by without seeing the choices of others to be cold, cruel, unthinking, and worse, to their fellow humans. That is what I have a hard time reconciling.

"I think to myself, what a beautiful world," and then someone beeps their car horn and flips me off. I really do think it is such a beautiful world. There is so much beauty and joy to be had, and I wonder all the time, why can't they see it? Why are they choosing not to see it? Is that what happens when you close your eyes to the pain, you miss the beauty too?


JJ Ross said...

My view has come to be that hell and heaven happen right here on earth, and are of our own makingeither way. :)


Christy said...

"Is that what happens when you close your eyes to the pain, you miss the beauty too?"

I'm afraid it is. If you close off some feelings I think you close off all feelings. I find as I'm trying to focus on the joy in life more and really feel it, I also feel more pain.

Deanne said...

My response to myself, ;).

Renaissance Unity

Thursday, May 3, 2007 – Compassion
"Love and compassion are necessities, not luxuries. Without them, humanity cannot survive."
~The Dalai Lama

Today's Affirmation
My heart is open and compassionate.
Today's Meditation
Dear God,

Sometimes, it seems like it would be easier to close my eyes and heart
to the people and situations around me.
The non-stop barrage of news reports provide vivid details of ways
we are not loving each other.
In the midst of all of this, You call me to remain awake.
You remind me that a closed heart cannot receive or share love.
Instead of shutting down, I choose to be open and loving.
When situations arise that challenge me, I choose the path of love.
Through prayer and meditation, I give my frustrations and hurts to You;
and I receive healing, strength and courage.
Reveal what I can do today to open more space in me for love.
May Your will be my will.
Thank You.