2012-06-08 / Columnists

The Inner Voice

Commentary by Marilyn Gelfand

When you have to deal with the unexpected, don’t assume that the world you know is coming to an end. We are not prepared to actually be present where we are at any given moment because we often expect that our own thoughts are reality. We live so often in the world that our mind creates and then think that this is the way it is.

When something occurs that doesn’t fit our mindset, we can get into a panic instead of realizing that probably my thoughts were off base or didn’t take all factors into account.

When we deal with others this can happen, since each person has constructed a view of the relationship or what he is looking for from the other. They may be close or far apart.

One person can become offended while the other person does not even know what has happened. As much as possible, it is good to remember that reality does not follow the way I think. I have to think in a way that is open so that I can actually see reality for what it is. The more open I am, the easier it is to live with flexibility.

When I hope to accomplish a project the same thing applies. I may assume that it should take a certain amount of time to get it done. When it does not seem that it can be finished, I may get frustrated or discouraged. I may say something like, ‘What is wrong with me? Why is it taking more time than it should? Other people would have had it done by now.’ The fault may be in the setting on an unrealistic time frame to begin with. Often this is not even considered faulty initial thinking.

Sometimes we even expect God to be a certain way and protect us. When something happens that causes us great pain like an illness or tragedy, our belief in God may diminish. Phrases might be — ‘Why have you forsaken me? If I pray more or do more, then you will make all this turn out okay.’ If we look at an animal, and imagine it bargaining with God, it would almost seem comical. But, we do it all the time.

Perhaps your initial belief that, if you believe, nothing bad can happen to you, needs to be adjusted.

As the old phrase goes, ‘Man plans, and God laughs.’ It is so important to remember that the way I think or expect life to happen is really just my own point of view. I have to be ready to change if things work out differently. A bit of humor can help make it better, too.

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