May 26, 2024
Search
Close this search box.
Search
Close this search box.
May 26, 2024
Search
Close this search box.

Linking Northern and Central NJ, Bronx, Manhattan, Westchester and CT

“Pain is inevitable. Suffering is optional.” This quote has been attributed to the Dalai Lama, Haruki Murakami and M. Kathleen Casey.

The other day, bloodcurdling shrieks pierced the still air. Something awful was going down. I was not disappointed. My daughter, between wails, managed to point to the inciter of the terror—an ant.

And a tiny ant, too.

I suppose I could’ve simply gotten rid of the ant standing between her and the candy on the kitchen table, but I was not inclined to be the knight in shining armor. Instead, I asked her, “Do you want to be scared or brave?” She chose to be brave. Now, if it were a larger bug, the answer would probably have been different. (For the record, it would be different for me, too.)

Fast forward to the grown-up world. Imagine if we could choose how we wanted to feel. Today I choose bravery. Or tranquility. Or joy. Or anything we want.

The incredible thing is that we all have those choices, every day. If your mother-in-law criticizes you, you can choose to hold the resentment or you can choose to let it go. Of course, why would you want to let it go? Holding on to resentment is so much more satisfying. Additionally, your mother-in-law is obviously the reason you’re not happy right now. If she wouldn’t be so critical, and your husband would take your side, then everything would be better, wouldn’t it?

If the people around us would always act the way we want them to, it would be easy to be happy. But that’s not reality. In fact, the difference between expectations versus reality is what causes distressing emotions in the first place. That brings us to another choice, about something much more important than being scared of ants: What do you want your life to look like? Do you want it to be filled with distress, bitterness and resentment, or do you choose peace, acceptance and joy?

If you chose peace, acceptance and joy, congratulations. That’s the first step. The next step takes commitment. Sure, I know I want to lose five pounds, and I’m very committed. That is, until the fudge with the cookie crust and crumble on top (yes, I know that is oddly specific, and yes, it’s oddly addictive) comes out. Then my commitment goes out the window.

In order to keep our commitments in the moment, we need to link them to something more important than this momentary pleasure. While it would be nice to lose the five pounds, it’s also nice to eat the treat. In order to sway the balance, we need to link it to a more powerful thought. What will I get out of losing the five pounds? Perhaps it’ll give me more energy to spend time with my loved ones. Or maybe it’ll give me the confidence I need to go for something I want. Strengthening the thought will motivate us much more.

If you want to be able to let go of distressing emotions, come up with a deeper motivation than this moment. Find a few people you really admire. What are the values they live by? What is it you want for yourself?

For me, strong family ties are extremely important. I want my home to be full of love, warmth and welcome. The next time my husband criticizes me and my instinct is to lash back with a laundry list of everything he’s done wrong, I will choose to pause. Pause and remind myself: I can choose to be brave.

My daughter did it. Perhaps, for reasons that transcend this moment, so can I.


Mimi Trenk is a life coach certified by the School of Transformational Healing and the Dina Friedman Academy. Utilizing a variety of healing and manifestation techniques, Mimi guides her clients towards living the life they truly desire. She lives in Clifton, New Jersey, with her husband and five children.

Leave a Comment

Most Popular Articles