Choose Differently

Ink on Sketch Paper – Words: Chinese Proverb

I read this quote and totally understood what the proverb was communicating:

You cannot prevent the birds of sorrow from flying over your head, but you can prevent them from building nests in your hair.

-Chinese Proverb

It may feel like a mess, or that you are a victim, or even that you have no control over what is happening in your world. And in many cases you are correct, you do not have control over what happens. We cannot predict the tragedy, loss, unforeseen pitfalls or even the daily struggles we will experience when we waked each morning. We cannot control what happens to us; however, we can control how we react. And our reaction has the power to set the stage for everything in our future.

I sat next to a woman in a meeting who was homeless with her three children. They were living in their car, during Winter, as that was better than the situation at home. She told her story, about having an MBA and a promising career that was shattered as the abuse she was enduring took it’s toll. When the children became the target of that same abuse, she knew they had to leave. She gathered what would fit into the trunk of the car and left in the middle of the night. So there I sat listening to a woman who had literally lost everything and chose to be hopeful that the group we were with could help her change things for the better. Her life did change over time, and now they thrive…after having lost it all.

I remember that meeting as it helps me level set when I think I have problems or challenges. I don’t, not really, not like hers. She chose to be positive and get busy doing something about it. She reminded me that we are only victims if we choose to be…her voice reminds me to just sit down and do the work.

So let me remind you that you cannot control what bird flies over your head; however, you can prevent them from building nests. Choose to act, choose to keep moving, choose to get out of the rats nest of negative thoughts, panic filled inklings and make action your tonic. Doing something gives us the power to change things. It is not our circumstances that define us, it is our choices. So choose differently if you want things to change.

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