Life Is A Series Of Events—We Decide How To Label Them

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Services for Real Estate Pros with TheHousingGuru.com

While commenting on a great POST by Paula Hathaway, The Downside Holds An Upside, I realized that I couldn’t properly express my response in just a comment and decided to write this post. I agree with Paula that we need to spend more time focusing upon the positive events in our lives, rather than those we perceive as negative.

 

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However, I also believe that life is a series of events; we decide how to label them. I apply that precept to my life, and have found it easier for me accept those events I find distasteful and also to keep things in perspective. While we often label events as negative, there is usually a positive side that can be discovered upon careful examination. The events we experience, in and of themselves, are neither positive nor negative; they are events. We make a choice on how we wish to view them.

 

Some will disagree: “But what about when I lost my home to foreclosure or when I was diagnosed with a terrible disease? Those “events” were surely bad; they were negative.”

 

For me, even those events have no intrinsic negative value. What about the person who bought the foreclosed home at a great price? What about the agent who closed the deal? They saw the event as good. Then, there’s the doctor and his staff who will benefit from your treatment, the pharmaceutical company who will sell you drugs, the pharmacist, and countless others along the healing process. And, of course, there’s the possibility that your disease may cause you to appreciate life, family and friends in ways you never did before. There are countless possibilities. There’s also the mortician. . .

 

I see my life as one long series of events. Some I have found enjoyable; some I hated. But in the end I understood that I sometimes miss the point of the wondrous and exciting journey we call life.

 

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Rainmaker
1,911,119
Jay Markanich
Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC - Bristow, VA
Home Inspector - servicing all Northern Virginia

Not to wax too poetic, but all of life is for our experience and for our ultimate good.  That's hard to explain when it seems all is going badly!

May 19, 2010 12:55 PM #6
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Charles Buell
Charles Buell Inspections Inc. - Seattle, WA
Seattle Home Inspector

Our "experience" of all that we label good or bad is all we have.

May 19, 2010 01:12 PM #7
Rainmaker
456,240
John Mulkey
TheHousingGuru.com - Waleska, GA
Housing Guru

Maria - Life it is; and I much prefer it to my present alternative.

Jay - I understand, but we're the only ones who can decide what is "bad" for us.

Charles - And all that we have is enough!

May 19, 2010 01:49 PM #8
Rainmaker
642,706
Dawn A Fabiszak
Private Label Realty ( Denver metro area, Colorado - Aurora, CO
The Dawn of a New Real Estate Experience!

John ~ I just loved what you had to say and couldn't agree more.  "Things" continue to happen, it's how we choose to deal with those "things" that can make our lives happy or sad, good or bad, positive or negative. 

May 19, 2010 04:43 PM #9
Rainmaker
434,838
Dick and Dixie Sells
Sells Real Estate, LLC - Trinity, FL
Realtors, Tampa Bay Florida Homes For Sale

Sometimes you look back at something that was a bad experience at the time and see that it was a fork in the road of life that sent you into a better direction. Of course you have to be- like me- old as dirt (Smile) to finally figure that out. A negative can become a positive in enough time.

May 20, 2010 01:07 AM #10
Rainmaker
2,000,089
Michael J. Perry
KW Elite - Lancaster, PA
Lancaster, PA Relo Specialist

Our time on Earth is a time of building character,perseverance  and refining us for the next phase of our ongoing spiritual life !!!!!!!

May 20, 2010 01:37 AM #11
Rainmaker
320,981
Carra Riley & Declan Kenyon
Brokers Guild Cherry Creek Ltd - Westminster, CO
Helping people Transition at all ages!

John.....I agree that our life experiences are a long series of events coming one after another.  Shakespeare said "nothing is either good or bad but thinking makes it so".  Life events are what we think of them.

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May 20, 2010 04:30 AM #12
Rainmaker
456,240
John Mulkey
TheHousingGuru.com - Waleska, GA
Housing Guru

Dawn - I think you've got it! While we can't control random events, we totally control our reaction.

Dick & Dixie - I've experienced events as you describe, which at the time I thought were terrible, and now recognize them as the best things that could have happened.

Michael - And that time is incredibly short.

Carra - Thanks for the feature.  And I wasn't aware that Shakespeare had plagiarized me; I'll have to speak with an attorney :  )

May 20, 2010 10:11 AM #13
Rainmaker
174,893
Kate Kate
San Diego, CA

John, did you ever read back in the 80's the book written about people living with leprosy who cannot feel pain? It discusses the merits of pain, knowing full well the downside of chronic pain. The title was "Where Is God When It Hurts?"

The same author I believe also wrote "When Bad Things Happen To Good People". Both books talk about reaction...

May 20, 2010 01:42 PM #14
Rainmaker
456,240
John Mulkey
TheHousingGuru.com - Waleska, GA
Housing Guru

Kate - I'm not familiar with the first book, but I am with the second.  Learning how my reactions to events impact my life is one of the most powerful lessons I've learned.  We all experience "adversity," but our experiences are always relative--some have it much "worse" and some "better."  (Of course those are the labels that we apply)

May 20, 2010 02:36 PM #15
Rainmaker
174,893
Kate Kate
San Diego, CA

John, Looking them up on Amazon, I guess they aren't authored by the same person. I read them back to back in 1984. "Where Is God When It Hurts?", in my opinion, was the better of the two. It made a deep impression on me - over 25 years later and I still remember it well.

May 20, 2010 03:19 PM #16
Rainmaker
456,240
John Mulkey
TheHousingGuru.com - Waleska, GA
Housing Guru

Kate - Thanks for the info.  I'll check it out.  Have a great weekend!

May 21, 2010 02:16 AM #17
Rainmaker
131,694
Michele Reneau
Certified Staging Professional (CSP) Elite Instructor - Summerville, SC
Realtor, GRI ~ Charleston, SC Relocation Experts Team

There's always a silver lining to every cloud.  How's the saying go...you might not be able to choose your circumstances, but you can choose how you respond to them.

May 21, 2010 01:26 PM #18
Rainmaker
456,240
John Mulkey
TheHousingGuru.com - Waleska, GA
Housing Guru

Michele - Yes, it's always a choice--our choice.

May 21, 2010 03:10 PM #19
Rainer
437,789
Terry Chenier
Homelife Glenayre Realty - Mission, BC

John,

Very thoughtful post...everything alright with you? Maybe I'm reading too much into this.

May 28, 2010 06:53 PM #20
Rainmaker
456,240
John Mulkey
TheHousingGuru.com - Waleska, GA
Housing Guru

Terry - I'm fine. Just a response to another post.  But it's the way I see things.

May 29, 2010 05:33 AM #21
Rainmaker
210,156
Marzena Melby
Coldwell Banker Burnet Realty - Richfield, MN
Realtor, Twin Cities Minnesota Real Estate

Hi John,

The series of events we experience happen for a reason:  it's learning.  Some are easy to understand, some are not. As Wayne Dyer says:"When you change the way you look at things, things you look at change".  There's your silverlining, it's there in every event, but sometimes it's your job to find it!

Jun 02, 2010 04:58 AM #22
Rainmaker
456,240
John Mulkey
TheHousingGuru.com - Waleska, GA
Housing Guru

Marzena - I agree, and do find it amazing at how the "events" take a different light when viewed with a different perspective.

Jun 02, 2010 08:25 AM #23
Ambassador
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Suzanne McLaughlin
Sabinske & Associates, Inc. (Albertville, St. Michael) - Saint Michael, MN
Sabinske & Associates, Realtor

My friend, Susan Mangianian wrote something similar in her Thankful Thursday post this week.  We just have to try to find the good things and focus on those.  Somedays its harder to do than others. 

Sep 24, 2010 04:50 PM #24
Rainmaker
456,240
John Mulkey
TheHousingGuru.com - Waleska, GA
Housing Guru

Suzanne - And there are always good things upon which to focus if we'll just keep our eyes and our minds open!

Sep 25, 2010 04:49 AM #25
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