We are here to learn lessons
We are each a cause. Our thoughts attract and create circumstances. As we change, we attract different circumstances. Until we learn a lesson about debt, or work, or friends, or whatever, we either:
(a) stay stuck on the same lesson, or
(b) keep getting the same lesson in different packages.
Life goes like this. We get hit by little pebbles – as a kind of warning. When we ignore the pebbles, we get hit by a brick. Ignore the brick, and we get wiped out by a boulder. If we’re honest, we can see where we have ignored the warning signs. And then we have the nerve to say: “Why me?!”
“It is only by going down into the abyss
that we recover the treasures of life.
Where you stumble
there lies your treasure.
The very cave you are afraid to enter
turns out to be the source of
what you were looking for.”
Life doesn’t always have to be painful – but pain is still the main reason we change. Until we are in pain, we can pretend. Our ego says, “I’m fine.” When things hurt enough, for example, when we are lonely enough or scared enough, we become vulnerable. Our ego has no more answers and we open up. Pain encourages us to get serious. Unfortunately, challenges aren’t convenient.
Life is a bit like a ladder. To move up, we have to fix the step we’re on – whether it’s work, relationships, money, whatever. Once the step is fixed, we move on to the next step. People handle their steps in different ways:
“I hate this step – I want to be on a different one.” That’s when we stay stuck.
“I want someone else’s ladder.” That’s called jealousy.
“To hell with this ladder. I’m jumping off.” That’s called suicide.
Whenever we’re stuck, we might ask ourselves, “What haven’t I fixed?”
Life doesn’t get simpler. But you can learn to handle it better. When you signed up for planet Earth, you get the whole “life class” which means as long as you’re breathing, school is in session. All of us are constantly challenged.
So, what am I to learn from this?
Reflect on your life to this point, and you’ll perhaps see a reason why you took the path you did. You will see people dotted through your past – teachers, friends, even strangers – who gave you direction. You’ll remember a book you found in a junk shop which shaped your thinking. You will recall “accidents” – heartache, illnesses, failures and financial crises that made you stronger or taught you compassion. You’ll see “disasters” which in retrospect, were more likely part of a larger scheme. You might get that feeling that you have been learning a series of lessons in just the right order. You might sense that one thing was always leading to another.
In the beginning, it’s difficult to see disasters in perspective. There’s a lag time, while we’re telling ourselves, “This is not part of the approved script – sorry God, you made a big mistakes!” It takes us six months to figure how getting fired was actually part of a plan.
The universe is a patient and persistent teacher. Watch the signals and life runs relatively smoothly. But fall asleep at the wheel and “Whammo!” – you attract a major learning experience – a bankruptcy, a divorce, a heart attack.
You might argue, “There’s no life path. Everyone has to be somewhere at sometime.” As you expand your awareness, you might notice your unfolding curriculum.
So, where are my next lessons?
They are usually right under our noses – and often we know exactly what they are, and we’re hoping they’ll go away.
Andrew Matthews. (2009). Follow Your Heart: Finding Purpose in Your Life and Work. Trinity Beach: Seashell Pub.