One of my wisest teachers taught about how life energy is a torus, a donut shape where everything is at once expanding and contracting, rotating out and coming back in on itself. We are often brought back to revisit experiences that although new, have the same familiar shapes and smells as your grandmother’s living room.

So, here I sit, in my own private Groundhog Day. The cast is different but the characters are the same. I’d love to go into more details but protecting the innocent until proving someone guilty is the name of the game so you’ll just have to trust me when I say God gave me the gift of re-doing one of the most painful parts of my life all over again except without the dramatic weight loss. Yippee.

However, now the tools to paint a different picture on the same canvas are in my hands and I realize even more how much freedom we have to choose our reactions and responses. Inside those choices lies the forecast of how our experiences play out. The freedom to choose. Fear or faith, anger or compassion, anxiety or peace- these are mine to pick and this time, I choose well.

For so many years I resisted when people would say life is hard. “Life is beautiful, it is what you make it!” was my refrain. But the fact is our human existence is fraught with extremely painful experiences and countless Bad Truths. Our Creator did not say it will always be well with our souls. But we were given free will and free reign over the mindset we bring to the table. This is perhaps the biggest gift of being alive.

We can do hard things with great love. Compassion and boundaries can co-exist in equal measure. When the Universe takes a crap on your lawn for the fifth time it is either a mess or fertilizer, the decision is yours. Inside each of us exists the place where our higher selves tell us the whole truth, we must only get still to sit in what we know is correct and then decide how to best move forward. And as we sit, we choose. Do we find blessings or burdens?

As for me, I’m grateful for a do-over, for the experience that allows me to walk a dark road with a little more light. At first, I found resistance, an unwillingness, a giant case of the “I don’t wanna’s”. Then I found grace, for myself and for others.  In that grace I found the wherewithal to get back up and keep moving forward in quiet acceptance, the way exhausted mothers manage to get up and face each new day a million times over.

Maya Angelou says, “When you know better, you do better.” So for those times life brings something back to the table, you can do better. You’ve been called, and you are equipped. You are armed and ready, and so am I. What is being served might not be up for discussion, but how you react to whats on your plate? That’s all up to you, my dear.