“Learn to get in touch with silence within yourself, and know that everything in this life has purpose. There are no mistakes, no coincidences, all events are blessings given to us to learn from.” – Elizabeth Kubler Ross
A mantra often repeated nowadays when life goes south is that everything happens for a reason. Such a phrase has become a rite of passage when life hands us lemons. If there is a reason for all that transpires in our lives, what sense can we make of the universe we live in?
I affirm that we live in a universe filled with infinite possibilities, simultaneously existing outside the realm of human awareness. The proverb, “I’ll believe it when I see it” has become a popular lexicon in contemporary culture. Mainstream science has taken it a step further suggesting that if it can’t be measured or quantified, it lacks scientific merit.
A good deal of what unfolds in life is beyond the realm of our human intelligence. I contend that some things are best left unexplained, save adding meaning to that which is beyond explanation. Oftentimes we are not privy to an outcome until further down the road, once the pieces of the puzzle have come together. Paulo Coelho poignantly echoes this sentiment in his book, Manuscript Found in Accra, “Someday everything will make perfect sense. So, for now, laugh at the confusion, smile through the tears and keep reminding yourself that everything happens for a reason.”
Our task however, is to remain hopeful when outward appearances dictate otherwise. This beckons the question, how to maintain optimism when debt collectors are hounding you for money? Or when your partner of sixteen years decides he/she is no longer in love with you? Or when someone close to you is diagnosed with a terminal illness?
In these instances it may be prudent to withhold judgement for fear of catastrophizing a situation which time is able to heal. Don’t allow a temporary setback to become your defeat. There may be a greater plan taking place behind the scenes. We may not experience the bigger picture unfolding at the time. By mentally stepping back from the drama, we allow the perfect orchestration of events to unfold in due course. Remember, your job is that of co-creator acting in harmony with universal intelligence.
The frailty of the human condition is that we all experience suffering and loss at some point in our lives. My father passed away from a life threatening disease many years ago and I endured my own health crisis not long after. The wisdom I gained from these experiences is that pain and the degree of suffering are unavoidable – however remaining a victim is a choice. In his book, What I Talk About When I Talk About Running, Japanese author Haruki Murakami reminds us that “Pain is inevitable. Suffering is optional.”
In order to understand life, LIVE IT – avoid trying to make sense of life intellectually. I can assure you that any meaning you attach to an event or situation is based on perception alone. Give permission for life to flow through you. The American Buddhist psychologist, Tara Brach suggests we embrace suffering with the silent inner mantra, “I consent.” This powerful mantra is an inner acceptance that everything that has happened and will happen is part of life’s perfection flowing through you. Your task is to remain open and receptive to the energy to permeate through your being, without judgement.
Endeavour to remain in a state of grace and reverence, irrespective of whether the circumstances are undesirable. Life does not seek your permission, it knows how to evolve without your consent. Get out of your own way and allow life to reveal herself with ease and perfection.
Paradox, Contradiction and Ambiguity
Many times it is the conditioned mind which prevents us from realising the gift and perfection of each moment. Life is mysterious with its own organising system. It is our need to assign meaning to life’s mysteries that cast us in despair, since we seek to define that which is indefinable. Deepak Chopra reminds us of this truth in the following quote, “Be comfortable with and embrace paradox, contradiction, and ambiguity. It is the womb of creativity.” The universe functions within these three components. Therefore nothing is fixed – life is open to change and impermanence.
If you seek to attain peace of mind, let go of the need to explain life. Be open to mystery and the aspects of paradox, contradiction, and ambiguity. Allow space for the unexpected and non-linear to manifest. Those who are acquainted with synchronicity marvel in the joy and surprise it brings when a dear friend whom they haven’t thought of in years suddenly crosses their path. To rationalise it would remove the mystery and spontaneity out of life.
In summation, if everything happens for a reason suspend judgement until a complete picture of events has unfolded. Avoid assessment of a situation based on initial outcomes – trust there is more than meets the eye unfolding behind the scenes. Secondly, let go of the need to apply meaning to situations by allowing room for the unexpected. Trust that the universe functions on a timeline not of your own accord. Oftentimes the sequences of events develop when you least expect it and may not appear in the form you had initially anticipated.
TRUST that there is a greater plan taking shape in your life.