Today is a big day – for the world – and for me. Today is the Presidential Election here in the United States and the day my mother is having major heart surgery. Both of these events have the power to shake your center and work up some powerful emotions. For this particular election we’ve been bombarded by political ads, polls and heated arguments about what’s best for the future of the country. For our family, we’ve been forced to entertain ideas of things we’d rather not think about. So how does a person find their peace in this world of swirling chaos? As usual, I find that the answer comes from the blending of opposites.
When it comes to the election and the state of our country in general, I find it helpful to focus on the big picture. Yes, we face some huge challenges – but in truth, America has come up against obstacles before and not only overcome them, but actually come out stronger. Innovative thinking, creative solutions and blazing a path into the unknown are the qualities that have earned us respect as a super power worldwide. When you examine history, you can easily see that even our “mistakes,” and the gradual fine-tuning of details over time, have led future generations to a better place. That empowered view – from the rear view mirror – shows us that we will not only survive but thrive, albeit perhaps only after a few important lessons have revealed themselves.
When it comes to my mother’s surgery, I find it’s better to go in the opposite direction and focus on the small details. Truly appreciating the gift of life requires living in the moment. When you think of all the time we waste being bored, angry or agitated you realize that we’re inadvertently squandering the greatest gift we’ve been given. Each moment matters – and what you decide to do with it is up to you. From this perspective, at my mother’s bedside, there is no such thing as a wasted moment. Each one is appreciated. The world takes on a softer quality. Things that once seemed important are revealed for their insignificance – and gratitude for the simplest of things comes alive with a vibrancy that cannot be denied.
While the results of the Presidential election have yet to be revealed, perhaps the path to peace and acceptance, no matter what the outcome, lies in seeing both the big picture and the small details. Either way, it tells us that we’re blessed, and it would be wise for us to remember that.
Copyright © 2012 marciwise.com. Material is copyrighted but free to repost as long as proper credit is listed, including our website address. Marci Wise is the author of Pain, Passion & Purpose. “Like” us on Facebook.