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Think of someone you truly, truly love…Now commodify that person (kitten/puppy) and place them in the palm of your hand. How would you hold it? Would you clench your fist tightly or would you hold it delicately, perhaps with an upward facing and open palm?

Living in a capitalistic environment, we’re forced into patterns of consumerism which transcend our commercial lives and venture into our private ones. Think about a loved one (a friend, girlfriend/boyfriend, husband, wife, etc). Chances are that when we first met this person, we found certain qualities attractive and unique which we embraced. Yet over time, in many relationships, there is a trend to seek control and remove many of the initial qualities which magnetized the two initially. Over time, our desire to further control the ones we love will drive us apart.

A colleague of mine (thank you Neil!) was kind enough to give me a book recently; “Mindfulness and Surfing” by Sam Blakely. Blakely says, “the world works on us, or ‘affords’ us perception, and we respond to its lessons. The world is a gift, not a commodity. If we were to take on this idea, then we would not be so eager to shape the world to our desires, but rather to appreciate how the world educates us into her presence and beauty.”(16)

Refusing the world to work on us, whether it’s riding an open wave or allowing someone their own space in which to be mindful only inhibits our own ability to achieve personal growth. When we seek control, it’s often out of convenience and is purely self-serving. More often than not, our own agenda deprives us the opportunity to learn from those we draw near. Negating to acknowledge a different approach to life and its offerings does the world little good.

“You need to regain control of your life.”

What a perplexing statement… There is so little in life we can actually control. I’m a firm believer that our attitude and our beliefs form the major core and shape our ability to find meaning in life. If someone were to say this statement to me, I would force myself to circle back towards attitude and beliefs. From these two staples, everything else shall flow and would be the focal point in my daily approach. I’ve evolved into this way of thinking in recent years and have found it to be very beneficial personally even though the inspiration comes from my father.

My dad has battled multiple sclerosis for twenty nine years and I think I’ve probably seen him truly sad twice. Pretty remarkable if you ask me. In my search to figure out how he could remain so optimistic, I quickly realized that his faith was a focal point. His attitude on most issues derives from his faith, or his belief in God. This gives his life much meaning; even though he is physically handicapped, he is mentally and spiritually free. Beliefs don’t need to boil down to religion, it could be as beautiful as “I believe in treating all people with kindness” or “I believe it’s important to be trustworthy” or "I believe I will become the World Champion." What do you believe in?

“Stress is the result of the misguided belief that people can control things.”

If we can agree that we are not in control, we can begin to appreciate the beauty that’s abound.

Lastly (apologies for language) we can see how our eagerness to control others has potentially influenced an election. Love that this man takes such accountability.

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