Wednesday, August 7, 2013

What's Your Handicap?

What's your handicap?” is a common phrase in the sport of golf or horse racing or any number of other competitive endeavors.

In her book, Journey to the Heart, Daily Meditations on the Path to Freeing your Soul, author Melody Beattie talks about it at length. I think the word is most commonly understood as referring to physical limitations placed on the body. But in the same manner, handicaps can just as easily be emotional, burdens of heartache, current issues like facing illness or grieving loss.

After losing a son, Melody explains that she came to the understanding that her sense of loss was a handicap. The pain and heartache would more than likely always exist ... the sense of loss would always be there to some extent. She had two choices, she could accept those facts, treat them as a “handicap,” and within that framework go ahead and live her life ... or she could fumble and stumble through life allowing her “handicap to live her.” Once she made the decision to accept the situation for what it was ... over time, her attitude and perspective changed.

Most of us live with some sort of handicap. It may be physical, emotional, mental, financial. Some are temporary ... some are not. Some of us sit around waiting for the handicap to disappear. Some of us sit around feeling angry and resentful. Some of us allow ourselves to be consumed with self-pity. Some of us become our handicaps and in so doing, live from our CANNOTS instead of our CANS.

My take on the subject is this: "Whatever is, is. What ever is, right here and right now, is what is so." There is always the possibility that things may change. Miracles do happen. However, there really is little point in sitting around and waiting ... doing nothing in the meantime.

Whatever the handicap, we can decide to accept what's so and live with it ... work around it. Maybe even someday go so far as to embrace it and dare I say, be grateful for it.

I’m not saying not to feel and experience all the emotions of your circumstances and the limitations they may present. We must accept them all. We must let them be a part of ourselves ... and begin to see them as an honored part of our experience. Everything that happens and has happened to us adds to the uniqueness and beauty of the fabric of who and what we are.

© Susan Schanerman 2013

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