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Oh, The Choices We Can Make

May 17, 2013

That which life sends your way can be broken up into two categories.  One is what “Life As Your Coach” sends your way, the struggles and challenges, which are meant to strengthen you, whether you like it or not.  Then there are the temptations which are meant to defeat you.  Defeating you so that you are kept from accomplishing your purpose and goal.  The coach is your best friend and the temptations, using the boxing analogy we have used before, are your opponent.

Defeat that opponent rather than letting him defeat you.  Your opponent will tempt you to do things that are morally wrong, ethically wrong, and/or just un-kind.  Even though you intrinsically know better, he will persistently tempt you to do wrong, which takes you from elevating yourself and climbing your mountain.  He will also try to defeat you through trash talk (see inner-speak) into believing you are weak, or not capable, or not worthy, etc. etc….

First learn to recognize the temptations and the negative inner-speak for what they are.  Then use your strength and determination to resist them.  Successfully resisting and ignoring is a winning round for you.  Recognize and celebrate those victories and count them on your second “to do” list towards a “Day Worth Having.”

Ultimately, all that is sent your way can be for the good.  With what life as your coach brings, you choose your attitude.  With what your opponent brings, you choose whether or not to fight back, ignore and resist.  With the right choices in either case, it will all be for the good and you will be “Stronger, Healthier, Better….Heart and Soul”.

There is a story of a man who was tormented with disturbing and negative thoughts.  One night he was so distraught, he went to see his spiritual leader, the Rebbe Schneur Zalman of Liadi (1745-1812).  It was a cold and snowy evening.  When he arrived at the Rebbe’s house he began knocking at the door.  The Rebbe instructed his aide not to answer the door.  As the evening wore on the man began banging and yelling, to no avail.  Finally, the next morning he was let in and met with the Rebbe.  The man told of the thoughts and his fears.  He also asked why he wasn’t let in the night before despite his persistent banging and knocking.  The Rebbe told him that it’s his house and that he only lets in what he wants.  He said your mind is like your house.  You only let into to your house what you want and into your mind only let in those thoughts you want.

You cannot control the negative thoughts that knock at the door of your mind, but you can control whether or not you let them in.  If they do get in, you can also control whether or not you obey them.

“A man is known by the company his mind keeps.” – Thomas Bailey Aldrich

 “The mind can make a heaven out of hell or a hell out of heaven”. – John Milton

We were given the luxury of free-will to make choices, then we are given constant opportunities to make good ones.

“We have to believe in free will.  We’ve got no choice”. – Isaac Bashevis Singer

Heart and Soul


One Comment leave one →
  1. Steve H. permalink
    May 17, 2013 7:29 am

    Having woken up this morning with a barrage of negative thoughts, you posted at just the right time. Great story.
    An old friend told me “You’re not responsible for your first thought, but you are responsible for your second.”
    Thoughts come and I try to let them pass. Fighting them gives them power.
    They’re not MY thoughts. They don’t define ME. They are just thoughts or feelings. Feel them, acknowledge where they come from, let them go. Fix what you can and move on.

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