There are a lot of people who will try to make you believe that you can be in total control of your life. Many of these seemingly well-adjusted perfectionists seem to glide through life untouched by human tragedy in their own lives. Unfortunately their time for cruelty comes sooner or later, and when it does it hits them hard because they didnt believe it could happen to them. The truth is we are not in control of most of our lives. For example: We cant choose which families we are born into; we dont choose where we will live as children; we dont choose our own D.N.A. pattern; thus we can not change how susceptible to certain diseases we may be; and we can not control what outside negative forces we will face in our lifetime. We can not control the sex of our baby. Nor can we control their lives with many of the same factors.
Life is hard but take courage because just as we can not control many of those outside influences, we can control how we respond to them. This is what is meant in that famous saying: “We cannot direct the wind but we can adjust the sails.” The unknown author is trying to tell us that we may not be able to control what happens to us, but we sure can control the way we handle it.
I have learned this lesson first hand as I developed a disease called peripheral neuropathy about 7 years ago and my life has changed considerably. I can no longer walk without being in pain. I can not play any kind of sports, I can not play my guitar any more and I have been reduced to a man who stays home everyday unable to work any longer. My eyes are going so the reading has become real difficult. My hearing has gotten much worse; I can not hear the simple chirping of birds or the bark of a neighborhood dog. There is much I miss. But I am able to still write so that is what I do with my time.
I am encouraged by the quote mentioned here because although I may not be able to stop negative forces from affecting my life, I sure can change the affect it may have on me. I could give up and stay in bed all day, or I can contribute to life somehow.
When something bad happens to us, we have a tendency to want to give up. But many choose to make the orange juice out of the orange. I believe I have become more empowered since my disease onset. I choose to stay in control of the areas of life I can control. For example, I could get mad as all get out and be nasty to the people around me. I confess there was a period when I did not handle it well. But now I am a more patient person, and more of a listener. I have improved in a lot of ways, more than time allows mentioning here.
I create joy in my life despite my circumstances. I look for the good in others and I do not judge them as severely as I used to. All of this is a good by product of what is a nasty thing that happened to me. I want to encourage you to know that you too can adjust the sails of your life; mostly your attitude. You may not be able to control the winds of misfortune in your life but remember you can adjust your sails by adopting a new attitude. In doing so you will become empowered.