Words, thoughts, comments and memories; all currently serve to trigger episodes of paralyzing grief. Often without warning, sorrow grips my heart with an icy hand, banishing all other thought other than my mother is gone and will not be back. It is especially poignant at this first Christmas without her. While I may not be able to choose the unpredictable moments when these “attacks” may occur, I have found that I can choose my response. Rather than experience the total numbness that occurs, I have visualized myself taking these episodes and using them to stimulate the positive emotion of thanksgiving. It is not necessarily easy, but it allows me to move forward.
Deciding what to do before the moment has been one of the key principles I have discovered in life. Someone who desires to remain a virgin till marriage needs to make the decision not to sleep around before the opportunity presents itself. More over, if you can make the choice a powerful conviction and not just a preference then it will stand. I have found it helpful to base such convictions on wisdom literature that you can draw principles from (e.g. the Judeo-Christian bible, the Koran etc.). Internalizing the wisdom of others into your convictions makes them less likely to fail. Let’s take the sex example. The person who decided not to sleep around because he may get AIDS will find his ‘conviction’ weak when handed a condom, whereas the person who bases their choice on the biblical command to remain pure is less likely to compromise their stand. (By the way, I am not ‘bashing’ anyone’s choice in the sexual arena-it’s just an obvious example) Likewise the person who won’t steal because he will go to jail is likely to do so if he finds a situation where he won’t get caught, whereas the person who bases his life on ‘thou shalt not steal’ will probably not. Many of us do not know on what our choices/convictions rest, or consciously make such decisions, but they are worth thinking about.