A Defining Moment

A thought or decision can certainly redefine our direction in life and in love. There's a lesson in every experience. However, one usually doesn't figure out the lesson until well after the experience. For example, we always heard when we were children trying to hurry up and reach adulthood that our youthful years were the best years of our life.

Some people have to live with the knowledge that only after losing someone did they truly realize what they had. Or how about the choices we make that we feel are best for us, or when we consciously decide to do something only to later realize we chose wrong.

What is a "Defining Moment"?

What is a "defining moment"? I describe it as a point in time where one gains clarity about something that has long eluded them, when one consciously chooses to do something or stop, or when something becomes so obvious as the nose on our face. There is no set course for when we reach these places in our lives. They appear almost "out of the blue". The funny thing is that when we have these moments we usually say to ourselves, what were we thinking?

Perhaps some of it has to do with settling or choosing too hastily. Here's an example: I know I tolerated a marriage that wasn't all that I wanted it to be for at least three years. Ironically, some of our "defining moments" aren't necessarily self-realized. It took my husband saying he no longer wanted to be married, for me to accept I was living a life that made me depressed. Imagine being married and lonely.

My Defining Moment

The "defining moment" was in the discovery that I had placed too much importance on what my husband thought of me and what he wanted, instead of relying on myself for my inner happiness and esteem. I had lost who I was. I was living life but I was out of touch with the life I really wanted. Like I said, the lesson often presents itself after the experience. It's important to be aware of what works and what doesn't for each of us without being too eager to change who we are.

I think some of it is that we all want to achieve contentment. But we don't always look beyond what is immediately available. We tend to live in the here and now with a strong desire for immediate gratification.

Defining Who I Am

I now look within to define what I want. I am working towards defining who I am. There's enormous strength and clarity in this effort. I also think that it increases our odds of achieving the happiness we are seeking. I no longer settle. I don't look at how I can make something fit when it really doesn't. I also pay much closer attention to the way I perceive things and how my moods can certainly affect my processing.

It's about being true to oneself. I take the little things that happen in my life and draw upon them. I see beyond what's around me and what's right in my face.

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Quality, Not Quantity: Stop and Smell the Roses

I breathe. Funny, I know. But do you know how many people don't really breathe? The best way I can sum it up is "stop and smell the roses". Add quality, not quantity, in your life.

Defining moments in my life are now something I enjoy, even though I know I will falter from time to time. I pay closer attention to them and respect them. For the way we choose to define the moment can either bring pain, disappointment, or that contentment we so eagerly crave. Letting go of the need to always know where we are can change our outlook.

I take risks now because I trust myself to know that the choices I make are ones that I've given considerable thought and energy too. Defining moments define who we are, who we become, and they create history.

"Life is a succession of moments. To live each one is to succeed." -- Sister Corita Kent.

Recommended Book:

Choosing Easy World: A Guide to Opting Out of Struggle and Strife and Living in the Amazing Realm Where Everything is Easy
by Julia Rogers Hamrick.

Info/Order this book.

About The Author

Tracie Ann Robinson

Tracie Ann Robinson is a woman on a mission of self discovery. She was recently divorced having been married her whole adult life (at the time this article was written she was 31). She is a professional woman and writes part-time with the goal of sharing her relationship experience and insights. She has written several other articles for InnerSelf Magazine. She can be reached at: [email protected] This e-mail address is being protected from spam bots, you need JavaScript enabled to view it


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