It’s crazy how powerful the stories we tell in our heads are. I generally go for a long run every Sunday. Since my legs had been heavy and tired last Friday and Saturday, even before I woke up Sunday I “knew” the run was going to be tough. Guess what? It was! While my body’s condition certainly played a part, the story in my head amplified the reality I chose to focus on. Instead of joyful, relaxed, or fun, I picked struggle, and that’s what I experienced. I say this because I’ve felt similarly other days, adopted a more blissful mentality, and had delicious runs.
It seems to me this choice applies to most of life. Both heaven and hell are inside each of us, and the mindset we adopt determines where we will reside. Rabbi Shapiro puts it like this: “Will you engage this moment with kindness or with cruelty, with love or with fear, with generosity or scarcity, with a joyous heart or an embittered one?” Do you see the Truth in his words? While much of life is beyond our control, we always get to decide how we perceive and engage it. When we pick fear, bitterness, scarcity, and the like we create a hellish abode. YET, when we adopt an attitude of joy, generosity, kindness, and love we discover heaven is here and now.
You know how gymnasts and other athletes visualize their performance beforehand? Vividly imagining greatness leads to better actual results. So, today I invite us to be athletes of love. Think, choose, speak, and enact kindness, care, generosity, harmony, and joy.
Grace and peace,