Friday, July 1, 2011

Overcoming Life's Obstacles

Life can be difficult- there is no doubt about that!  It hits each of us at different times.  Sometimes we seem to be flooded and bombarded with it and other times we seem to get hit by it out of nowhere.  I was recently speaking with someone who felt like her whole world was falling apart and was quite upset because this seemed to be the trend for most of her life.  She stated that perhaps this was "karma" from her previous lives.  I stated to her that sometimes when life gives you lemons you have to make lemonade.  She chuckled and stated that she likes the other version of this advice: "When life gives you lemons you squeeze the lemon juice into the persons eye who wronged you and then make lemonade".  I must say that I was taken aback by this and stated to her that as Gandhi so wisely stated: "An eye for an eye makes the whole world blind".  I also told her that perhaps this is where her "karma" is coming into play and nipping her in the butt.

With this particular individual I have seen her make poor choice after poor choice constantly blaming everyone around her for it.  It's so sad because she is stuck in this vicious cycle of anger, resentment and retaliation.  I share this story with you because I think it's important to examine your own life to see how you have been living.  Are you always pointing the finger at everyone else?  Do you refuse to take a look at yourself and your actions?  I realize this is very difficult to do but if you take the time to do this and really look within a lot of change may start to come your way (for the better).

                    Cover of The Lion's Paw                                  (Little Golden Book)I remember reading this story about a lion who had a thorn in his foot. (Bare with me as this is an adapted version from my memory- but the gist of it is as follows).  The lion was hurting terribly but his paws were too big to pull the thorn out.  When a tiny mouse appeared asking if he needed help the lion was angry, irritable and distrustful.  Out if this anger he threatened to eat the poor mouse.  If this mouse wasn't able to see the thorn in the lions foot- the real reason for his fierce reaction- the mouse would have ran off leaving the lion to suffer greatly.  The mouse quietly snuck under the lion's paw and removed the thorn.  The lion roared as the thorn was removed from him and he slammed his paw down on the mouse out of anger and suspicion that the mouse was trying to harm him. After a few seconds the mouse crawled out from under his paw with the thorn in hand.  The lion was taken aback by this and thanked the mouse as well as apologized for his frightening and hurtful behavior.  The unexpected duo became great friends!

If you are anything like that lion you may think that everyone is out to get you!  In fact you may strike first in anticipation that they no doubt are intending to hurt you.  It becomes somewhat of a self-fulfilling prophecy because that individual may be very upset for how you treated them, especially since they were not ill intended. Out of this anger and hurt they may then treat you in the way you were expecting!  Once again I encourage you to take a look at how you are viewing, interacting and treating others.  Maybe it's not always about them needing to change first!

I have made it my life's purpose to help others and anyone who truly knows me will agree.  If there is one person in the world that is like this then there must be more!  It is true that everyone you meet will not be like this and that there are some people who have been so hurt and wronged that they make it their mission to hurt others.  But the truth is, not everyone is like that.  There are a lot of really beautiful and amazing people out there- you just need to open your eyes and your heart to see what is really before you.

P.S.  If you have enjoyed this blog please leave me a comment or send me an email.  I never know who is reading this and I am always pleasantly surprised and honored when people share with me that they have been and it has helped them in some way.  It keeps me going and keeps me inspired- so thanks for reading and I hope that my blog can help inspire you in one way or another!

I wish you a beautiful and blessed life,

Elizabeth Cappelletti, MA, LMFT
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