There Is Meaning Contained In Each Event
“Everything will be okay in the end. If it’s not okay, it’s not the end.” ― John Lennon
Things always have a way of working out because our problems are temporary. I realise it may not look that way at the time and this is because we evaluate life from a narrow perspective which blinds us to the truth. Knowing this does not prevent untoward events from occurring. However, we appreciate they are minor elements in a larger scheme working behind-the-scenes. For example, you might be watching a live theatre production where an actor forgets their line and you think the entire play will be dreadful. Though, an hour into the production, the play proceeds effortlessly and you realise it was a minor gaffe in what is a delightful performance. Have you experienced this before whereby suspending your judgement worked out in your favour?
We mustn’t be so quick to judge situations, despite our opposition to them. It’s unreasonable to expect something is not unfolding as it should, when the pieces of the puzzle are still forming. You may want to ask yourself: “What could be going on behind the scenes that I’m unaware of?” It is why we must take a long-term view of life, if we wish to find happiness and contentment in our everyday circumstances. To put it another way, if we set out on a road trip and encounter rough terrain early in the journey, we might conceive the entire trip will be challenging. However, once our destination is reached, we appreciate the journey in its entirety replete with the highs and lows. Therefore, we mustn’t judge life based on our current circumstances since this is one facet of it.
It is what psychotherapist David Richo means when he writes in The Five Things We Cannot Change: “We worry because we do not trust ourselves to handle what happens to us. We worry because we do not trust that the way the chips fall will work out for the best. We worry because we have not yet said yes.” Whilst we shouldn’t ignore short-term setbacks, we ought to explore the key lessons they represent for a delay is not a denial. Everything that follows is perfectly arranged and there’s meaning contained within each event. We may realise the lesson further down the road while other times we don’t understand why the experience took place. Instead of dwelling on unfortunate conditions, we should see them as obstacles that provide inner wisdom and personal growth. Life brings forth unforeseen circumstances when we least expect it and this is where our greatest gifts will emerge if we are attentive.
Lean Into Your Conditions
“You’re braver than you believe, and stronger than you seem, and smarter than you think.” — A.A. Milne
When things don’t eventuate as we expect, we ought to focus on what is important to us instead of becoming embroiled in circumstances that mean little in the end. A person on their death bed will tell you that their three regrets in life are: having worked too much, not having loved enough and not having the courage to express their feelings. There’s a purpose to our life and our task is to unearth it. When we do, it will be as though we are reborn. The famous American author and inventor Buckminster Fuller once said: “Never change things by fighting the existing reality. To change something, build a new model that makes the existing model obsolete.” Knowing this, I invite you to trust your life because what needs to happen will do so, despite your opposition to it. It is simply easier for you to stop resisting ‘what is.’ Everything works out in the end since there’s a natural order to life, regardless of our fears and doubts. The most we can do is to embrace our current experience since life happens through you, not to you. You are powerful beyond what you believe to be true. I know it may not seem this way at times. This type of thinking results from perceiving our problems through a victim lens instead of an empowerment lens. To demonstrate this, if you were to lose your wallet, you would firstly acknowledge it and then retrace your steps to find it. Similarly, to accept your current conditions means to yield to your challenges and allow life to lead you to the solutions. Either there’s a solution or lesson embedded in the experience, which is a win-win situation and a principle espoused by the late Stephen Covey throughout his teachings.
This simple act reaffirms our intent to lean into our conditions instead of retreat from them. How do you know things always work out in the end? Look to your past when you encountered similar conditions and got through them. My greatest breakthroughs emerged when I was ready to give up. Surrender is the greatest step forward. It’s a declaration to surrender to a greater universal force that knows precisely how things will unfold. We mustn’t be invested in our difficulties because if we focus on what’s not working, we miss out on the solutions staring us in the face. If you’ve ever been to a wildlife sanctuary or open range zoo, you’ll see animals stand perfectly still as they weather torrential rain during a storm. Yet, the moment the rain has passed, they shake the water off their coat and continue on. Therefore, make this your undertaking during unpleasant circumstances. Fully experience what is happening and once it has passed, as it no doubt will, continue on your journey. It is timely that I remind you of the Japanese proverb: “Fall down seven times, stand up eight.” With this engraved on your mind, approach your next challenge by realising that difficult moments unearth your true character. In doing so, you respond to life with vigilance and courage instead of believing you have been hard done by.