Daily Quotes : Thomas Aquinas instructs that the purpose of a fulfilling and meaningful life is to “carry each other’s burdens.” And as Walter Cronkite use to say in signing off his nightly newscast “And that’s the way it is”.
Reflection: One of these quotes takes us away from being self-centered and directs us toward a worthy purpose or mission in life; the other keeps us grounded in the idea that things happen and we need to accept them. I see acceptance as the ability to see something the way it is and saying I need to step-up and do something about it. A significant part of denying and not accepting reality is the inability to deal with the frustration , fear and pain of what is happening to you. For example, one of tenants of a strong and lasting friendship is the commitment each person makes to help the other endure suffering or pain. Possible outcomes of this type of support is to help your friend or spouse to come out the other side with personal learning, to regain balance or understand how to let go peacefully or deal with the situation head-on. At other times, the growth that comes through pain is only experienced as we share our thinking and feelings of pain with someone else. Dr. Viktor Frankl, the German psychiatrist and author of Man’s Search for Meaning, who spent a few years in Nazi concentration camps called this ability human triumph. “Human triumph” is the ability to turn suffering and pain into acceptance by changing our thinking and attitude toward unchangeable fate or events. This ability puts us in control of even seemingly uncontrollable situations. It provides internal peace and an inner compass so that we are not tossed about by external waves of change. When reality slaps us in the face and shakes us up and confronts our notion of what reality should be. Reality usually wins. Many have trouble accepting this proposition and use denial and avoidance of this truth to hold off the inevitable, that is accepting their situation.
Self-Coaching Challenge: The way through this dilemma is to ask yourself, What am I not accepting as the truth about this situation? Your answer to this question is the first step to solving this problem and constructive action.
It provides us with what Rotter calls inner “locus of control”. When we discipline ourselves in the pursuit of a higher purpose, a new self appears and emerges. This action is empowering because it releases energy and power we hold to shape our own circumstances. What is the right thing to do in this situation?
Willingness to sacrifice self in the pursuit of a greater good. It is important to remember that assisting others who need a hand up or support is more empowering and fulfilling for the helper.