Staring at Destiny

Do you gawk at accidents or find your attention transfixed at the horror of events on television? You're staring at someone's destiny as these events unfold before you. Do you stare at your own destiny? You can become so enmeshed in events that you actually begin to feel the pain of the victims or their families even though they are strangers. While compassion and empathy are desirable traits becoming entangled or mesmerized by others tragedies is not a habit you want to develop in your own life; it leaves you susceptible to staring at your own destiny.

How is this possible? When traumatic or painful events happen in life it is easy to stare transfixed at those events, your attention riveted to what has happened. Your mind is incredibly powerful. It records events with better clarity than the most powerful video equipment. Every sight, sound and sensory perception is recorded in minute detail. You have instant recall for every infinitesimal event. If you allow yourself to stare at them, to replay them like a favorite movie, the most powerful asset you have is being used to voluntarily induce pain and invite despair into your life.

Trauma does not travel alone. It gained directions into your life through your emotional attachment, either to a person or the outcome of an event. They are tough taskmasters; they enter your life without any introduction, usually hurtling through the door without knocking. Their travel bag is filled with things you never hoped to encounter. Rarely does trauma approach slowly, preferring to crash the gates and bash you unmercifully. These are intruders who refuse to leave until you talk them out the door. Trauma must talk, it is accustomed to being in command; its very presence is forceful. It is necessary to limit and then terminate the time you allow these uninvited guests to control your life, your future.

Why do you choose to devote such an enormous amount of your time to staring at events that are horrifically painful to you? Emotion is the chain that binds. Either you loved or you cared about the outcome. The lock on the chain is your unwillingness to look away, to let go. You imagine you can't let go because you've become attached to the pain. It happens through emotion. Letting go may mean you did not care, or the fear that something that hurt you was true causing you to constantly reexamine every event to know the truth. You become attached to pain because you believe it is all that is left of something that mattered a great deal.

Do you choose to stay there, captivated by a movie that is sure to cause you more pain, to rob you of your future? Looking at the past destroys opportunities for the future. You have to be willing to let go, to look forward to change your future. Whatever has captured your mind, whatever you are looking at is your destiny. Look at what you want.


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