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There is a movie I love called ‘Begin Again.’ It was released in 2013 starring Keira Knightley (Gretta), Adam Levine (Dave), and Mark Ruffalo (Dan). My interpretation of the movie is a little different from how they describe it in the movie blurb. I feel it is a journey of two individuals starting over. Two individuals who got lost in the shuffle. Two individuals who lost sight of who they are. (By the way, I love the music in this film. It is awesome.)

Gretta and Dan both had lost sight of their greatness. They had lost themselves in the shuffle of life. They let self-doubt, fear, and their feeling of hopelessness consume them and they both ended up in a very bad place in their lives. Through the movie, you see them start to believe in themselves again, and by the end, of course everything is great. Sometimes I wish life was that easy to be able to turn it all around in a two hour timeframe.

The good thing is, we do have the option to change within each of us. Each day, each hour, each minute, we have the opportunity to begin again. Every day, every hour, every minute, we make the choice to think the way or see things the way we do. We have the choice to begin again. This realization and new practice in my life has changed many things for me. It is not always easy, but well worth the effort.

In every situation, you have the choice to view it how you want. Even if you are not in control of what is actually happening, you have the choice to control how you feel about it. If you are not shown appreciation from others for what you’ve done in your life, you have the choice to show appreciation to yourself. You have the choice to change your thoughts and view the situation differently.

There have been many times I struggle with feeling appreciated, at work, at home, in my relationships, but why is that so important? Why do I feel ‘less-than’ without it? It does feel wonderful when someone I care about acknowledges something I’ve done and takes the time to thank me or do something nice to show their appreciation, but if it is not something they choose to do, why does it affect me so much? I believe I crave the acknowledgement of being appreciated because I am seeking approval, I am seeking confirmation that I am good, I am seeking acceptance, I am seeking love; all of this from others. I am placing my thoughts and self-acceptance on the hopes that another will acknowledge their appreciation and acceptance of me as a form a validation. I want to begin again, I want to choose differently and take back control.

Stop and begin again in that moment. Choose a different thought, choose a different feeling, choose a different way of seeing the other person. Just the other day there was a situation where someone was questioning me about a normal task for me; had I called so-n-so, did I said blah-blah, did I do such-n-such, and so on. Now I had two ways to feel about this situation, number one, I could be upset with the questions, which was my first reaction, “I have been handling this for years. Just because you want to be involved now, does not mean I am an idiot.” Note to self, that is not the best response. I started getting very frustrated, irritated, mad, and the conversation in my head was getting out of control.

But I stopped, took a deep breath, and began the conversation in my head again. “Yes, I did do all that I needed to do, the same as I have handled it for years. I am confident in what I am doing. I am glad the other person has decided to get involved. This is not a bad thing.” And I did feel better, and I was able to let things go and see the situation in a more positive light. Now, to be honest, I had to say this a few times in my head. I had to convince myself that this wasn’t bad and that I shouldn’t get defensive and mad. I did it and I felt a lot better about the situation and even the other person.

The thing is, I don’t know how the other person really felt or why they were asking the questions. My head went to a negative place first, but I changed its path and my feelings about the whole situation, and even how I felt about the other person, changed. By stopping and beginning my thought process again, I changed the outcome. That is a good feeling, and knowing I have that control, is empowering.

We have a choice of how we handle any situation, we have a choice of how we feel, we have a choice of how we see others; each of us has a choice, each of us have control, we need to focus it on the positive. Try to see people with love, and not that they are a horrible monster that has been put on this earth to make you feel bad. There are some people who are vindictive and do things on purpose to hurt you, but if you can choose again, and not take it that way, it won’t hurt you, you take the power back from them, and you win.

Stop, deep breath, begin again, choose different… make this your practice and embrace your greatness.

Sending peace, love, and joy to you! Sam

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