Lucky Me: A Choice

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In every moment we have a choice: “lucky me” or “poor little me.” Sometimes it may seem as if we do not have a choice, however, we can always choose to find positive meaning. Acceptance, receptivity, detachment and appreciation can help us choose to feel like a victor in life rather than a victim of life.

Acceptance and Receptivity

One famous story that illustrates the idea of using simple acceptance and receptivity to weather the changes of life is the story of the farmer and his luck. Over the years I have heard several versions of this story. Here I will try to convey the gist of it.

A farmer had one son and one horse. One day the horse ran away.

“What bad luck!” said the neighbor.

“Good luck, bad luck, time will tell,” replied the farmer.

The next day the horse returned, accompanied by four beautiful wild horses.

“What good luck!” exclaimed the neighbor.

“Good luck, bad luck, time will tell,” replied the farmer.

A couple of days later, his son tried to ride one of the wild horses. He was thrown, and broke his leg when he landed.

“What bad luck!” said the neighbor.

“Good luck, bad luck, time will tell,” replied the farmer.

A few days later, the army came to press all the young men into service for the war. Because the farmer’s son’s leg was broken, he was excused from the war.

The farmer practiced receptivity – that is, to be open to the idea that anything that came his way might be for the good. To be receptive like this, one must lose their prejudices and try to see everything clearly as it comes.

The farmer’s outlook was neither positive nor negative; he accepted everything that happened without judgment. He did not spoil the moment by worrying about the consequences of an event or regretting its occurrence. He simply accepted what was and lived fully in the moment, and did not allow either the past or the future to interfere.


Appreciation

Feelings of being unlucky are generated when we view things from a perspective of lacking. Visualizing ourselves lacking the things we love or desire is not a happy pastime. The surest way to avoid the negative feelings of want is to appreciate what we already have.

A key element of appreciation is realizing what we like. Many times we let irrelevant considerations, such as what others think or how much better the things are that others have, color our feelings for the things we gather around us. When you start to think seriously about what you really and truly want in life, you will be surprised if not shocked to find how much of that is already in your life. Once you discover this, you will begin to appreciate what you have much more. Appreciation of what you have brings contentment. To a great degree, contentment is happiness, and how lucky it is to feel happy!

An old song by Harold Arlen and Johnny Mercer tells us to ‘accentuate’ the positive, and it really is the best advice. Choosing to see your happy circumstances instead of your worrisome or painful ones will make your life better. Choose to feel lucky - because you really are, when you think about it.

Gratitude is a powerful aspect of appreciation. To be grateful for what one has in life is to feel lucky to be living.

Detachment

On the other hand, if we visualize how happy we would be if we were in possession of a thing or experience we love, we can experience joy. Joy is a good thing. However, if we get attached to the idea of being in possession of what we love, we lose the joy and fall back into the feeling of lack. The trick to joyous desire is to remain detached from the object of your desire. Then the thought of what you desire is always a thought of abundance, never a thought of poverty. Before attempting joyous desire, I suggest developing a deep appreciation of what is. Desire is most joyful when launched from a strong base of contentment, where the one who desires remains detached from, accepting of, and receptive to all outcomes.


A Brief Meditation

Sometimes I meditate on feeling lucky. I do it like this.

As I do whenever I meditate, I sit comfortably upright with my back straight but not rigid, and my legs out in front of me so the energy can flow freely. I breathe in through my nose and out through my mouth, slowly and easily, and think about relaxing my body, one part at a time, starting with my face. I breathe and relax my neck, breathe and relax my shoulders, my chest, my back, my stomach, my hips, legs and feet.

When I am relaxed, I may think a phrase or two with each in and out breath. In this meditation I think, “Lucky me,” on both the in-breath and the out-breath.

After ten minutes of this, I feel pretty lucky. I hope you will, too.

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Comments 18 comments

catalystsnstars profile image

catalystsnstars 4 years ago from Land of Nod

I definitely feel like everything happens for a reason, this hub, the bowl of soup that i'm eating, right down to the time I decide to go to sleep.

Your take on receptivity is very enlightening, I knew there was something of the sort but I never came upon anything to specify what the idea behind openness to consequences really was. Something most people forget is that consequences don't have to be negative or positive, you just have to accept them. Ironically I've seen this receptive attitude in a lot of murders, I know that's strange to say but many of them who commit the act with intention to kill, have already accepted the consequences and seem almost cold during sentencing. Well anyway, i'll stop rambling. Great hub! Voted up!


Tom Rubenoff profile image

Tom Rubenoff 4 years ago from United States Author

Thank you, Catalyst. I think the murderers of whom you speak probably know where the path of murder leads the moment they embark upon it. One could also say the same of life, since we know that life always ends in death. Once we accept that the consequence, or price, of life is ultimately death, we need no longer fear either.


Frieda Babbley profile image

Frieda Babbley 4 years ago from Saint Louis, MO

Was just contemplating this very subject for the millionth time last night and this morning. So darn true! I really really wish more people would realize this. Great article Tom.


Larry Fields profile image

Larry Fields 4 years ago from Northern California

The upper photo looks very much like one of the rivers coming out of California's Northern Sierras, not far from my home. I'm fortunate to live near such awesome natural beauty.


always exploring profile image

always exploring 4 years ago from Southern Illinois

That old cliché, " Negativity get away from my door " I find myself repeating this quite often. I also love to meditate. It is so easy to have that feeling of 'poor me' When in reality, we are blessed. We live in a country where we enjoy freedom. I feel lucky indeed. Thank you for sharing...Enjoyed..


Feline Prophet profile image

Feline Prophet 4 years ago from India

For the past few days, every time I've logged into Hub Pages early in the morning I've come upon a hub that seems to 'talk' to me - I feel very lucky! :)


egadget profile image

egadget 4 years ago

I really like this hub and your photo and now i feel lucky .

thanks for sharing


lmmartin profile image

lmmartin 4 years ago from Alberta and Florida

THanks for sharing this method of appreciating life. It's true we often get hung-up on what we don't have instead of loving what we do have.


Tom Rubenoff profile image

Tom Rubenoff 4 years ago from United States Author

Thank you, Frieda! It's very easy to lose sight of our own luck.


Tom Rubenoff profile image

Tom Rubenoff 4 years ago from United States Author

Thanks, Larry! That photo is actually of an iced-over path in Harvard Forest in Petersham, Massachusetts.


Tom Rubenoff profile image

Tom Rubenoff 4 years ago from United States Author

There is so much joy to be had in every breath. Thank you, Ruby!


Tom Rubenoff profile image

Tom Rubenoff 4 years ago from United States Author

HP is a great place to find inspiring articles. Thank you, Feline!


Tom Rubenoff profile image

Tom Rubenoff 4 years ago from United States Author

What could be better, Egadget?


Tom Rubenoff profile image

Tom Rubenoff 4 years ago from United States Author

Thank you LMMartin. It does make all the difference, doesn't it?


PDXKaraokeGuy profile image

PDXKaraokeGuy 4 years ago from Portland, Oregon

nice work and a good reminder. very interesting


Tom Rubenoff profile image

Tom Rubenoff 4 years ago from United States Author

Thank you!


DrBill-WmL-Smith profile image

DrBill-WmL-Smith 2 years ago from Hollister, MO

What fun! Thanks for sharing your thoughts! ;-)


Tom Rubenoff profile image

Tom Rubenoff 2 years ago from United States Author

Thank you, Dr. Bill!

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