Dear Why Team member,
I hope this week’s message finds you well and warm. This week we consider the most powerful Why question we can ask: Why Me?
What comes to mind for you when you ask “Why Me?”
Your answer in this moment depends on your current attitude doesn’t it?
If, in this moment, you are positively fired up and feel in control of your life, your response will be more likely “Why me? Why NOT Me? I have purpose and meaning, bring on the adversity - it only serves to grow me”. However, if you’re suffering through something difficult, there could be a bit of self-pity as in “Why me, why did this happen to me? Woe is me.” and if not careful, a looking outside ourselves for blame, rather than looking within ourselves for insight.
This is a reoccurring theme for the Why Team because we know our experience of life is wholly dependent on our attitude toward life - and can develop us to be more for others.
As children, rather consciously or unconsciously, “Why Me?” rises up as Who am I and why do I matter? As adults, we can get so caught up in the “doings” of our lives we’re rarely as present to “being” in our lives; thus, in time we can find ourselves only asking “Why Me?” when we find ourselves in the fetal position, when all our propped up systems for living fail, when we are met with the significant unexpected.
I love Byron Katie’s work and had the opportunity of hearing and meeting her in person. An insight of hers that stood out to me was when she said, “Nothing is Wasted.” Her attitude toward life, that everything is happening for us, rather than to us, has been absolute Rocket Fuel for my own perspective toward life; with this insight, maybe the most empowered answer to “Why Me?” is that “It’s for me.”
Would we not best be served by owning whatever arises and converting it to good, rather than having an attitude of a victim and blaming circumstance and/or others? Yes, it will require lucidity and will, sometimes lots of it; yet the accepting, welcoming attitude for all that arises in our life can make life a great and exciting adventure rather than a terrifying path that ultimately ends in death.
The “Why Not Me!” attitude calls us to see what the adversity has for us rather than having a hyper-focus on what the adversity is doing to us. How may the adversity be preparing and fueling our very own Why for others?
Just yesterday I was speaking to a good friend who has been the member of his local Optimist Club for the past 15 years. He said it took him a long period of practicing optimism before he started to notice how his new mindset was automatically responding to adversity. Just recently he and his wife had to take their son to the hospital for some stomach issues, and on the way, he said to his wife, let’s consider five reasons to be grateful. Of course, this kind of comment in the midst of high anxiety would catch most people today completely off guard - especially in the midst of their fears and resistance to what is - but this is the point, isn’t it? To question our habits of thought - do they serve us or limit us? There were of course points of gratitude: that the condition wasn’t worse, that the hospital was one of the best in the country and nearby, that they had friends to watch their other kids and so on. It’s difficult to remember that the sun is still shining behind the clouds; but does it not serve us to remember this in the midst of the storm? Of course there are times in life where just showing up is the most we can do - but if we are regularly practicing an attitude of gratitude for all things - we may be all the more fortified for when life throws us a particularly difficult curveball.
The grinding stone sharpens the axe. How might the gift of the grind be sharpening you to live more connected and better able to serve others?
Those with the largest egos feel most alone. When we fill ourselves up with ourselves we push others out. However, when life reminds us that we are not fully in control of circumstances, we’re given an opportunity to connect more deeply with ourselves and others. During one of my own most-darkest-of-days, I had the awesome realization that I was connecting and experiencing a universal human experience that had been experienced by millions of people over the past millennia. Is it not those moments of being completely humbled that best connects us with each other?
When you find yourself asking Why Me?, consider responding Why not me? Whatever life brings you can be worked for good - if only to empower you to truly empathize with others who are going through similar adversities.
For 2019 to Be Your Best Year Ever, refortify your attitude toward life: no matter what may come to pass, our strength in all circumstances is our power of choice: to embrace and grow with the mindset of victor or reject and blame from the place of victim. One breeds life and the other death.
In this New Year Live more than ever with an attitude of gratitude for all things. Own it all to work it all to good. Nothing is wasted by those who live Why Not Me?!
Make it a great week!