We get to choose.

I know, it doesn’t always seem that way.  But while we can’t control events in our lives, we CAN control how we respond to them.

Those knee-jerk reactions–you know the ones–anxiety, worry, panic–don’t have to run the show. We can actually choose how we respond.

I must admit, this isn’t always easy. Sometimes, deep wounds are triggered before we can even get hold of a situation. When that happens to me, I feel it in my heart-space. My breath comes more quickly. My heart speeds up a bit. I feel that anxious feeling that I MUST DO SOMETHING. But often, there’s nothing I can do to change the situation.

How about those self-recriminations? “Why did I do that?” “I really stepped in it.” “I should have done something different.” Yeah, those, too. Sometimes, we are not very kind to ourselves.

So here’s what I try to remember.  And I say “try” because I don’t always succeed. It’s important to be patient with ourselves. We are all imperfect and should not expect to be any different. Life is an exercise in trial and error. If one thing doesn’t work, another might. So patience with ourselves is a must.

We can almost always be kind to another, so why not try being kind to ourselves? And also forgiving ourselves for those mistakes that are simply a result of our oh-so-human nature.

Doing these things means being far more conscious about our reactions than we’re used to. Sometimes it might take a minute to get a grip. But taking a beat — or two, or five–and a deep breath –or two, or five–before reacting? It can be life-changing.

Also life-changing is the safe space our guided journals provide to express your deepest thoughts and feelings about a health challenge or a deep loss. A lovely gift, too, for those healing or grieving. Find them here.

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