It is becoming apparent that there are two distinct paths, two very different ways of being in the world.
Sometimes, I can focus on what I do not have or something I feel should change. I strive for and grasp at what I want or what I want to change. I perhaps (or often) feel that I deserve the thing or conditions that I want. I am entitled to them.
If I allow myself to, I can let my emotions devolve. It can start with boredom, which is based on an assumption that I ought to be experiencing excitement. It can then morph quickly into frustration, stress, resentment and anger. The end of this progression is murderous rage, where I am cut off from myself, others and God. The whole spectrum is that of being continually and increasingly pissed off.
Thank God, other times I focus on what I do have, and surrender the impulse to change that thing, circumstance or person. This is the path of gratitude. I see the things that I have as gifts, rather than possessions I’m entitled to. I don’t expect to have much, and am grateful for having enough. This is also the path of acceptance. I don’t have to agree with everything or everyone, but I do need to accept things outside myself.
The emotions associated with this path are very different. Peace, calmness, serenity, attentiveness, joy, contentment, freedom. The end of this road is a growing relationship with God, others and self. I am free to greet life as it is, accept difference, and free to help where I can.