Have you ever asked “Why did that happen to me?” Until five years ago, I’d ask that question when bad things happened to me. It came from the mindset of a passive victim, and hence things happened to me. Can you relate? Let’s consider a different question, “In what ways did that happen for me?” Same situation, but now this question recognizes life as a co-creator, a helper, a force that conspires to do things for us, instead of against us.
When we change the question we ask, we change the answer we get. The “happen to me” question keeps us in “poor me” mode, while the “happen for me” question empowers us to harvest the treasure in an objectively negative situation. This isn’t to be confused with just overlaying positive thinking over a challenge. Rather, we’re facing the challenge, but we don’t stop there. We seek to dig deeper for the gift within the ugly wrapper.
Miracles for those who believe
There are two ways to live: You can live as if nothing is a miracle; you can live as if everything is a miracle. ~ Albert Einstein
Let me share 3 cases of people who clearly see life as a miracle—even in the midst of significant life challenges—and believe that life happens for them:
Case #1: I’m watching a friend courageously face lung cancer with a consciousness, clarity and faith that’s simply awe-inspiring. She chooses to surround herself with a circle of friends who has the consciousness and faith she wants, who similarly believe that life is for us no matter the wrapper, including cancer. Does she love chemotherapy and not having the strength to leave her house? Absolutely not! Yet, she genuinely sees and feels the love in this situation, as expressed through the people who are there for her, loving her, inspired by her.
Case #2: Another friend is going through a divorce that isn’t only difficult for her as the abandoned wife but also as the mother of a very hurt and angry young girl, who doesn’t have the capacity to understand why her daddy abandoned her. My friend holds steadfast to the knowing that her husband leaving her is ultimately for her highest good, even if she needs to give her natural human reactions—i.e., anger, sadness, anxiety, indignation, etc.—the regular airtime they need to be processed in a healthy manner.
Case #3: The other day, I heard a member of my spiritual center recount the story of having her purse stolen, which left her without a car, without a phone and sitting at home all alone, vulnerable to having the robbers walk in on her any moment before the locks could be changed. Yet, she was able to recognize how that objectively bad event happened for her, not to her. Among other effects, it was the catalyst that ultimately did her the service of making her follow through with changes in her life she didn’t make earlier.
Personally, the gifts under-wrap from nearly dying 4 years ago are like one of those Russian doll sets. Once I open a box, I find another smaller box within. The twist is that, with each box opened, therein lies a treasure at that layer, in addition to the smaller box hiding another treasure along with another smaller box within it. It’s literally a gift that keeps on giving. I still face stiff challenges in what I’ve set out to do with my second lease on life. Some days, I’m firmly in my limited human self, with the fear and discouragement proffered by my ego threatening to paralyze me. Yet, I never doubted that the accident happened for me. I choose to live as though everything in this life is a miracle.
Allowing life to work for us
One of the books I’m currently reading is Marianne Williamson’s The Law of Divine Compensation. At the beginning of the book, Williamson talks about the self-organizing and self-correcting nature of the Universe—the universal principle that’s the namesake of her book. In a nutshell, the law is about universal forces seeking to compensate for any lack in our lives to restore us to our natural state of abundance.
When we take a course of action that turns out not to be for our best for any reason, we always have the opportunity to course-correct. Like a good GPS device, the Universe recalibrates from the wrong turn we’ve taken and offers a new alternate route to get us to our intended destination. However, it’s still up to us to decide whether to follow that route. It’s critical that we recognize our mistake, and surrender our attachment to our preconceived route of how things must unfold—and when—and allow ourselves to be guided to take the corrected course of action.
Tying this back to the central thesis of this article, we won’t believe the self-correcting, compensating nature of universal forces unless we’re willing to believe that life happens for us, not to us. If we’re too busy punishing ourselves for screwing up or resenting others—or life—for causing us pain, we disallow this self-correction of life. As long as we identify ourselves as the victim of circumstances and dwell in the unfairness of bad things happening to us, we block the compensatory actions for us seeking our attention. If we’re willing to believe that miracles abound in life, we open ourselves to possibilities beyond what our rational mind can think up.
To close, let me offer a quote from Dr. Robert Holden:
Some people go through life, others grow through life.
We go through life when we believe that things simply happen to us with no rhyme or reason, and all we can do is passively react to life. We grow through life when we’re willing to believe that there are gifts contained in every unpleasant situation—all without denying the valid emotions that come with upsets and challenges. When we choose to go through life, there are no miracles, just randomness. When we embrace growing through life, we surrender to the miraculous journey for which we signed up the day we chose to incarnate in this lifetime.
Over to you: What do you believe? Does life happen for or to you? If you used to believe differently, what made you change your perspective? Would love for you to join the conversation in the comment box below.
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