I grew up with my fair share of stubborness. After all, I used to say, I’m half Irish and half Dutch, so being stubborn is totally infused in my blood. If I knew something to be true, it was true and that was it. Period. It was important for others to understand my point of view, which I was quite sure, was the correct one. Like most people, I tried to live life on the terms dictate by my Ego.
My Ego gave me a sense of control over the people, places and things around me. I had an education, I was a quick thinker and I could resolve problems fairly easily, so I was pretty sure that I was right most of the time. Oh sure, once in a while I might make a mistake; I am human after all. I was pretty sure that I was doing fine and that the world was in the wrong in a lot of cases. But somehow, with my bright mind and sense of right and wrong I ended up at the doors of a meeting room looking for help. Something was wrong and it had taken me a lot of years to realize it.
Living life on Life’s terms means two things for me today. First, this little gem reminds me that I am not in control of the people and events around me. I never was. My circle of control is about as large as I can swing my arms about myself, though in reality, I’m learning that it extends maybe to the tip of my nose. I can only control how I react and respond to the people, places and things around me. I’m learning that I can’t even control my thoughts. They just seem to pop into my head. What I do with those thoughts is up to me.
Life on Life’s terms is secondly, about acceptance. It is realizing that I am not right all of the time, probably most of the time. It is accepting that I can see only one facet of a situation. It is seeing that truth is fluid and changes with new discoveries in life. The only certainties in life are that there is no certainty, and that we don’t get out of here alive.
Acceptance of life on Life’s terms isn’t about being a door mat or about giving up on life because I can’t do anything about it. It’s about living a life of integrity with the realization that I have limited control and that I don’t have all of the answers. I go forward and I will make mistakes and I will learn. Things will happen to me and those I love that I won’t like and I can get through them.
Life is not perfect in the sense that everything isn’t rainbow, butterflies and unicorns. Life on Life’s terms gives me a perspective for living that make life easier to live. I can allow life to flow along and enjoy it as it happens. I can observe those things which interest me and stay more in the moment, dropping past resentments and fears of the future. I trust the process of life and know that the river of life will always let me float along.