Although I’m a strong believer in setting your own path and building your own way forward, the baal teshuva mind, or anyone truly open to seeing their lives from a birds-eye view, will see that life will take you where you should be going, not necessarily where you want to go. As much control as you may think you have, the reality is that we have very little control. That’s in reference to our external environment at least. Those people and events that we come across in our daily lives, are planted there purposefully and deliberately. They are there to teach you something. It’s up to you to learn. My grandfather always said that every problem has a “vivid” – Russian for ‘outcome’ or more accurately, a ‘resolution’. It’s our responsibility to make positive and meaningful resolutions out of every negative encounter we have. When I was a teen I made up a saying: “problems are just opportunities to think”. Now, I would expand that to ‘think, change and do’.
Internally, we have more control than we want to let ourselves admit. For if we admit that we have the ability to control ourselves that means we have the responsibility to do so. How frightening it is to have such responsibility. How frightening it is to have the option of reacting or not reacting, being kind or harsh, friendly or cold, optimistic or negative.