Have you ever felt like life mimics the swinging pendulum on a grandfather clock? On one side, life presents the circumstances you prefer. The opposite direction propels you into dread and dissatisfaction.
I believe that if I can avoid wild, dramatic, herculean swings I can keep the pendulum gently swaying somewhere near center. As we all know, staying centered provides a path to contentment.
I also tell myself that just as I cannot control the motion of the clock pendulum, I do not control the variances of life. Faithfully, I remind myself (and anyone who will listen), that I can only control my reactions to life’s swings. Much of the time, I stay relatively close to center. In addition, most of the time my attitude remains stable in spite of worldly events. But not always. Below, I share two extreme swings of my personal pendulum.
- When I heard our son say that minor surgery had found cancer, I instantly experienced a violent and broad sweep of my life’s pendulum. Ten hours of surgery seemed to fix the pendulum into the position I most dreaded. Adding a combined treatment of chemotherapy and radiation added a new dimension. Painful weeks followed as medical procedures inflicted damage to his previously perceived strong and healthy body. Treatments ended and I expected instantaneous recovery. Instead, our son faced slow and painful steps toward healing.
- Today, I gratefully proclaim a cancer-free status for our son. It’s early in the game to make that statement. However, I not only make the claim; I believe it to be the truth. Daily, I insist that for the remainder of his days, our son will be free of cancer. He will live to play with his grandchildren and great grandchildren. I live this as a treasured truth. With my life pendulum swinging bravely in my desired direction, I experience a heart full of gratitude.
In reality, life’s pendulum will continue to swing. There will be times when I will not be able to persuade life to behavior according to all my personal preferences. Yet, I anticipate peace as I seek the stability to remain centered. And so, along with giving thanks, each day I invite a more gentle swing of that darn pendulum!