We are more than our circumstances and situations


Circumstances and situations, good or bad, are part of our human story. Indeed, what we define as good or bad is shaped by particular, not universal, worldviews. What is deemed to be bad at the moment, in hindsight in the future may prove to be good. Many individuals have testified how prison experience, for example, turned out to be transformative and lifesaving. Similarly, some very successful business owners lost everything they had on the journey to becoming successful. Thus, in hindsight, one may write a book with the title: My Best Worst Experience.

Situations and circumstances come and go. They also don’t mean the same across all of us. You have probably heard the exhortation: “Don’t talk to me about your situation or your circumstances; we all have our situations and circumstances”. My bad day is not necessarily your bad day. Mindset therefore, creates reality which is not the same for all.

The important thing to remember though, is that we are not defined by our circumstances and situations. Obviously these come and go, but who were has nothing to do with the comings and goings of life. It is also another way of saying what we do and how we do it or when we do it is not the same as who we are. Yet, falling into this trap does create a lot of misery for many.

Being thorough and perfect, cautious or adventurous, refined or carefree – all these have their place, but they don’t add or diminish our worthiness. Who we are comes from within: love, compassion, humility, trust and hope. These virtues are also the source of joy and happiness.


The picture is in the frame


Often, we unconsciously view experiences framed in whatever worldview we may espouse at the time. If we believe that we are not loved or we are pitied against hostile forces, our experience will mirror hatred, resistance and opposition. Two people in the same circumstance often have different experiences – one angry and lashing out and another composed and discerning. The frame of mind influences the experience.

One day, during a group discussion, someone actually stated that he learned from a co-worker, not to expect being treated fairly, so as not to be disappointed. Well, it happens that the world has a way of rewarding our expectations.

How about looking for something to appreciate in every situation – even where we “think” everything is so grim? It is a good starting point and a good exercise in mindset re-alignment.

Thought of the day

I found this advice from Steve and Jarl worth meditating on any day:

“Fear arises when you think you’ll lose something you’re attached to. Whether it’s your health, career, appearance, money or a relationship, just the thought of losing these provokes a sense of identity crisis. But you aren’t any of these things. You aren’t even your body, mind or your personality. You are the one who witnesses them. When you know yourself as the observer, you are no longer the prisoner of any of these aspects of life. You see the creation and dissolution of all form as it truly is: Just part of the glorious dance of life”