2002-12-07 / Columnists

The Inner Voice

By Marilyn Gelfand

By Marilyn Gelfand

When things don't go the way we expect them to, we often judge what happens as "bad." Although we realize that we don't control everything, somehow, we expect that life will go the way we feel it should. In hindsight, we can often feel lucky when something changes, and it was actually favorable. But while we are living everyday, we can be thrown by the unexpected occurring. This is certainly true when celebrating holidays. I might think people all feel the way I do about Thanksgiving for example. But then you realize everyone has different memories from their own past, and it can be very painful for some.

One person I know feels Thanksgiving is about our betrayal of the kind native Americans who showed the Pilgrims how to eat turkey. Me personally, I always felt strange about having a holiday that revolved around killing an animal. I have had different "theme" Thanksgivings and tried a vegetarian Thanksgiving once, just to keep the spirit of the day, without having to tie it into the specific foods. It never worked. My kids said they'd never come back if I made another vegetarian Thanksgiving. This year my family couldn't be together on the actual day, so we had Thanksgiving three weeks ago, and it was terrific. I have learned to go with the flow and am comfortable with how I feel about things. I totally recognize that others, even in my family have completely different opinions.

There are big events that, of course, can cause trauma when they occur. But even smaller situations like vacations, work days, guests in our home, etc. can present a turn of events that was completely unforeseen. I have started living my life as openly and as flexibly as possible. What I have come to realize is that, barring those traumas, no one can tell if what is happening in any present moment is going to be good or bad as it plays itself out in the future. As life is lived, one can look around and actually see what is presented, rather than what I thought or hoped. Then go on from there.

Recently, I visited someone in a city where I could not get a room because the one weekend I decided to travel was football homecoming weekend. It seemed so dumb. But, the weather was excellent, and I stayed in a neighboring town that was very interesting historically and naturally. I had a great time, and it was even better than my original plan. I just followed my instincts and I left logic out of the picture here.

Since we don't know all the aspects of every situation, but God and the Universe does, often letting our instincts guide us will tap into this information. Recently I wanted to purchase a new product for my home. Nothing went right, and I even had to resort to taking out a small claims court summons to get my money returned. It was a disgusting experience dealing with such an unprofessional company. I started to question my instincts. Why did I pick them? In the meantime, I looked on the Internet, and I found a company that manufactured this product in the New York City area, and it was so much more beautiful. After going through the whole hassle, I decided that it was worth buying what I really wanted in the first place. The order was placed, and everything went smoothly. I do realize that I never would have initially ordered what came to me later since I thought the other was good enough. In hindsight, I'd say it was worth it to get what I wanted in the long run, but it was terrible living through it.

So with more and more trust in ourselves and in the Universe, we can let go of judgment, and just keep on living.

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