Sometimes it can be hard to believe that everything is happening for your highest good. It is easy to categorize some things as ‘wins’…and others as ‘losses’. We make judgements about ourselves and determine if we made a ‘right’ or ‘wrong’ decision. We reflect on injustices that have occurred in our lives and wonder, “Why me?” and “How could that have possibly been for my highest good?” To suffer that pain…how could that have been a good thing?
The reality is that the pain is momentary. The suffering we endure is a result of how we continually process the pain. We replay the story again and again in our minds and increase our attachment to the pain. The pain becomes our story. The pain becomes us. We become the pain.
The poisonous pain…which is playing out in the mind…takes over the body. In sadness, we lose control of ourselves and drink the poisonous past and needlessly stress over the uncertain future. Both are (painfully and fortunately) out of our control, but the mind…the ego…convinces us that if we concentrate on it a little longer, we can figure it all out. We can make sense of it. We can fix it.
The truth is that the only thing we can fix is our focus. As long as we dwell in the past or the future, we miss the beauty of the present moment. When we allow ourselves to be depressed about things that have already happened…or have anxiety over things that haven’t happened yet, we miss the whole point. The point is unfolding right now. We can only see that if we accept that everything that happened could not have happened another way.
Now, what would happen if we chose to believe in a benevolent Creator? A Creator that, in compassion, exposed us to hardships and trials to steel us and bring us closer to our purpose? What if we recognized that through that trial, we grew stronger and may be better able to help others grow from that situation? Or that our purpose is really to eradicate that condition entirely? In such a case, perhaps this purpose could only come from that painful experience…and that the intention behind the lesson was to have us live our learned truth in this moment.
What if we understood that the decision may have looked like a ‘wrong’ decision…but that it led to something beautiful? Or that the ‘loss’ was actually a ‘win’ in disguise? Perhaps that experience was necessary to help you understand something about yourself…life…or the Oneness that permeates. Maybe it was the missing puzzle piece needed to unlock enlightenment and understand what all of ‘this’ really is about.
I think the problem is that we hold on to the pain and miss the lesson. We focus on the loss but miss the blessing. We misunderstand and think that when a person leaves this Earthly plane that they are gone forever. We cannot see their spirit hovering above us through our tears…so we don’t communicate with them and we don’t understand when we are surrounded by their love.
When I consider the past, I am always reminded of the Biblical story of Lot in Genesis Chapter 19. In this Chapter, God destroys the evil cities of Sodom and Gomorrah…but spares Lot and his family, since Lot kindly sheltered angels at personal risk. As the morning dawns on the day of destruction, the angles urge Lot to take his family out of the city to be saved. They tell Lot, “Do not look back or stop anywhere in the valley. Escape to the hills, lest you be swept away.” The family flees Sodom, but as the cities are being destroyed, Lot’s wife looks back and is turned into a pillar of salt.
To me, Lot’s wife turning into salt is a metaphor for how we can destroy ourselves by looking back. By stopping in the valley of our pain, we miss the freedom that lies so near in the hills. We are weighed down unnecessarily by the burdens of the past that we continue to try to carry. We refuse to see things as they actually are…instead we dwell in a false world of how we want things to be or how we believe things should have been. By not accepting that things are unfolding for our highest good, we miss the silver lining and the power of choice that we are able to exercise in each situation. Even when things are completely out of our immediate control, we do get to control our reaction to the situation. We get to decide to forgive someone who may have harmed us…to try again on a professional endeavor that may not have worked out…to move on from a relationship that is withdrawing positives and depositing negatives…and on and on.
As we choose to let go, accept that what happened was for our highest good, understand that what will happen will be for our highest good, and mindfully focus on the present moment, we find peace. The door is there….we just have to shed past and future concerns to walk through it :)
Photo source: Still Standing by Dominic Walter