Chapter 9: Choosing One’s Attitude
You Have Chosen to Remember: A Journey of Self-Awareness, Peace of Mind and Joy by James Blanchard Cisneros.
Some people complain about today’s youth. Some people complain about where they perceive society to be heading. They question the behavior in which people seem to be engaging. They comment that people are rude on the road, that there’s too much sex on television and in the movies, that there is too much violence in the world.
In some ways, we can all recognize and sympathize with their perceptions of reality, with how they choose to view the world. I recognize their attitudes toward the world because there have been moments in my life where I, too, felt that way. And I am sympathetic because I understand where they are in their thought process, and the way they choose to view the world. But today, I respectfully choose not to share in their attitudes or join them in their thinking any longer.
Today I observe an expansion occurring. An expansion of all we think we are. This expansion simply teaches us the following: All that we think we are, we are not, and all that we ever wish we could be, we already are. There is a great strength and energy in the people leading this expansion.
At the same time, it takes a lot of strength and energy to subscribe to and follow illusions in our lives, on a daily basis. It takes a huge amount of energy to live out a lie and to keep expanding on a lie. The world of illusion, for those who believe in it, is hard, very hard. It is hard because it is unnatural, and because it is an unnatural way of living, it takes a significant amount of strength and energy to simply get through such days.
It is exhausting to try to be who you are not. Think about your toughest days. Weren’t those the days you chose to believe and live the greatest illusions about yourself and your brothers and sisters? Think of any tough day you have had in the past and try recognizing how much of it you lived by buying into the illusions about yourself and your brothers and sisters, and by buying into illusions of your unworthiness and of others’ unworthiness. Think of the time you spent buying into your illusions of fear, sadness, anger, anxiety, regret, distrust, rudeness, arrogance, materialism, faithlessness, and your inability to forgive and see the good in people. Weren’t these truly your toughest days? Didn’t these days take extreme strength and energy to get through them?
Why do you think that was? The answer is simply this: any time we are in any of these illusionary states, we are in an unnatural state, a chaotic state. Chaos can be defined as an utter state of confusion. Do you not see that it would take great energy and strength to live in such a manner?
We have learned certain ways to react and behave from society, family members, friends and peers. We might think that some of these behaviors are natural. We might even be willing to defend them as being the right behaviors and reactions. Yet, how could any behavior or reaction that causes us pain and suffering be right or natural? Could we not at least ask ourselves if there is a better way to behave and react? Is there not a way that could bring us peace?
The natural way of behaving and reacting will always brings us gratitude and peace. The unnatural way of behaving and reacting will always brings us stress, judgment, pain and regret. If we have reacted to a brother or sister in what we thought was a natural way and we experienced stress, judgment, pain and regret, then we must understand that our natural way of reacting is, in truth, unnatural.
The only value these behaviors hold for us and the world is for us to recognize them for what they are to us and the world: our unnatural selves, our false selves, our ego-selves. The only value they hold for us and the world is to experience them for a long enough period of time for us to get physically, mentally and spiritually sick of them. When we’ve had enough of them, we get to the point where we no longer choose or want to live this way. We no longer choose to support them and torture ourselves. We no longer choose to support them and torture others.
Growth can be a detoxifying process in which things will need to come up, out, and looked at before they are released. All these behaviors, all these illusions that we, as a society, as families and as individuals are choosing to go through at this moment in time are necessary to bring us to the point of recognizing and remembering that this is not who we are. The illusions are necessary for us to remember that this is not how we want to live our lives, not how we want to raise our children, not how we want to interact with each other, not how we want to spend our time, and that this is simply not who we truly are.
Understand that any day that we perceive as difficult is actually a gift that is offered by our higher selves. It is a gift because our Godselves are trying to physically and mentally show us the activities and parameters we are supporting that are “making us” react to the environment in such a manner. Sooner or later, we see what the Godself is trying to show us. When we do, these difficult days will turn into beautiful days filled with miracles. As Gregory M. Lousig-Nont, Ph.D., put it in “The Best Day of My Life:”
29 Today, when I awoke, I suddenly realized that this is the best day of my life, ever!
There were times when I wondered if I would make it to today; but I did! And because I did, I’m going to celebrate! Today I’m going to celebrate what an unbelievable life I have had so far; the accomplishments, the many blessings, and yes, even the hardships, because they have served to make me stronger. I will live this day with my head held high and a happy heart. I will take time to marvel at God’s seemingly simple gifts, the morning dew, the sun, the clouds, the trees, the flowers, and the birds. Today, none of these miraculous creations will escape my notice. Today I will share my excitement for life with other people. I’ll make someone smile. I’ll go out of my way to perform an act of kindness for someone I don’t even know. Today I’ll give a word of encouragement to someone who seems down. I’ll pay someone a sincere compliment. I’ll tell a child how special they are. And I’ll tell someone I love, just how deeply I care for them and how much they mean to me. Today is the day I quit worrying about what I don’t have, and start being grateful for all the wonderful things God has already given me. I’ll remember that to worry is just a waste of time, because my faith in God and His divine plan ensures everything will be just fine. And tonight, before I go to bed, I’ll take a stroll outside and raise my eyes to the heavens. I will stand in awe at the beauty of the stars and the moon and the majesty of the universe and I will praise God for these magnificent treasures. As the day ends and I lay my head down, I will thank the Almighty for the best day of my life. And I will sleep the sleep of a contented child, and yet excited with expectation, because I know tomorrow is going to be the best day of my life, ever!
29. Gregory M. Lousignont, Ph.D., The Best Day of My Life, Copyright 1993 Gregory M. Lousignont, Ph.D. All rights reserved. Reproduced with permission of author.
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