This week I spent a lot of time flying for business. I am not someone who likes to fly no matter how often I do it, and the turbulence on three of the four flights was enough to have me with images of the plane descending to earth – and not in a good way. Music that I riffled through on my MP3 did nothing because no song was quite right to settle my nerves, reading sentences over and over in books with no understanding of what I was reading and not having anxiety medication was a recipe for great discontent.
And somewhere I glanced the words, “Playing the hand your dealt”.
It settled me to a great degree, because those words are very true.
No matter what happens in life, you just need to play the hand your dealt.
When you have a good hand to play, life is easy and you feel like you are on top of the world. Nothing can be better and everything is yours for the taking.
If life were only so simple. Life is not like that. At some point, the music stops and you find yourself as the only person who was not able to scramble to a chair to save yourself from being tossed out of the game. This is when how you deal with it makes the difference.
Do you fold your cards, stand up and go home?
Do you bluff?
Do you keep going and figure out either a way to make peace with the cause of your pain and discomfort or another way to approach the issue (yourself) so you can overcome it?
Sometimes you can make things happen in life and sometimes life happens to you. It’s how you choose to take your next step that makes all the difference.
I am a big believer that we are always moving toward our final hour and if that is the case, then I better be working to be the best “me” I can be, which means living life on my terms – not for everyone else. But, I do recognize that there are things that are completely out of my control – like being a passenger on a plane.
So, it is during those tough moments large and small, when you are facing yourself and you have to choose if you are going to let the situation get the best of you, that you need to step up your game – win or lose. Those moments where your senses are heightened and you are very present in your situation are full of choices. You wouldn’t think so, but they are full of decisions that you need to make.
For example, on my bumpy flights, I could have screamed from the frustration and taken up the role of an unruly passenger. I would never do that. I like order, for the most part. I could have asked the flight attendant for two glasses of wine. I decided that was a waste because the flights were so bumpy. I could have talked to a neighbor, but I am someone who usually likes to be left alone to my own thoughts on a plane.
So, the decision was to try to relax, toughen up some more and face down my own fears. Isn’t it funny how so very often it is not the outside world that we really have to deal with, but ourselves? It always comes back to the voice inside.
Everything always starts from within and how we choose to handle a given situation.
There’s always a choice in how we play the hand we’re given.
© 2014 Linda N. Spencer and “Living For Purpose”. All rights reserved.