“Life is a succession of lessons which must be lived to be understood.”
― Ralph Waldo Emerson
Does it ever feel like life is nothing but a bunch of random happenings? No rhyme or reason to them, whatsoever?
I have something I’d like you to ponder for a second.
What if everything that happens to you is actually not random at all and is based in something so profound and meaningful that you actually begin to welcome any and everything that comes your way?
Sounds crazy, huh?
I can promise you, it’s not.
There’s a thought that life is just like school. We come here to learn, to experience, and to grow. Looking at life as a school then must mean that the things that happen to us are simply lessons.
Have you ever experienced something that, in the moment, seemed so unbelievable, so confusing, so pointless, but then days, months, or even years later, you’re suddenly able to see the meaning behind it? How it shifted the way you thought, believed, behaved in a positive way, or opened space for something greater to take place that couldn’t have been prior?
What if you could learn to see everything in that light in the moment it happens?
Part of the beauty of life is that it’s extremely unpredictable. Change is always happening, and because of that, nothing is permanent. But – unpredictable does not equate meaningless. Everything that we go through transforms us and impacts our lives, whether blatantly or subtly. The issue is that most of the time we fight and resist these changes. And no matter how hard we fight and resist, we have to realize that it’s happening no matter what, with or without us.
This is why it’s extremely important for us to cultivate the ability to accept what comes, embrace it fully, and look deeper so that we may find the lesson that is always there for us to learn.
Of course, life will always bring us challenges. It’s like the quote that says, “Like photography, we develop through the negatives.” It’s within these challenges that we grow and become a more well-rounded and whole human being. Sometimes these challenges may be especially difficult, like the death of a loved one, and it can be a struggle to accept them when we’re in the midst of grief and sadness, but learning how to accept the simple things now can make these experiences easier to cope with and offer us a wider perspective through which to view them.
Rather than resisting, which will always make us miserable in the long run and needing to play catch up in our own lives, we must learn to accept what happens as it is.
It’s a tough choice, but a choice nonetheless.
And what happens when we begin accepting what happens, is we are welcoming life with open and trusting arms. We are choosing to work with life rather than fighting it, opening space for us to begin to see the meaning behind what has happened, and most importantly, learning the lesson that has been granted to us in the form of whatever it is that we’re experiencing.
Life is always working for us, not against us.
Maybe it’s a breakup. Maybe you lose your job. Maybe your health is failing.
In any and all of these scenarios, there is a lesson to be learned. A break-up may be a lesson of independence and self-love. A lost job may be a lesson of clarifying your purpose and values. Poor health may be a lesson of self-care.
When we start to operate from the perspective that life is a lesson and begin to accept what happens, we find ourselves embracing everything that comes our way because we recognize that there is treasure to be found within. There is something to be seen that we could not see if these happenings didn’t, well, happen. Even loss teaches us the worth of things and people, as well as the importance of appreciation.
The crazy thing is, is that when we fail to learn our lessons, we find ourselves experiencing the same types of things over and over. We may ask ourselves, “Why is this happening to me again?” and the answer is that we failed to learn it the first time. As we start to recognize the lessons and take away from them that which we need, we will find that we are setting up a future in which those lessons will no longer have to be taught to us again. We free up space and time for more rewarding things to manifest themselves.
When I experienced my first major break-up, I was completely lost and confused. I didn’t know who I was without that person. And after months of depression, isolation, and finally acceptance, I realized that that was my lesson. I had no independence, no sense of self, and because of that I had placed all my time, energy, and love into them with nothing left over for me. A relationship is not meant to be something in which I lose myself completely in the other, it’s meant to be something in which I can be secure in who I am, in which I can grow into a more whole and fulfilled person, and hopefully, support and encourage the same in my partner. I had to learn what love isn’t, to know what love is.And with that lesson I was able to go into my current relationship knowing what’s healthy and what’s not, and I’ve been all the better for it.
I accepted it, I embraced it, and I learned the lesson.
So, how can we start to find the lesson? We’ve already gone over the importance of acceptance, which is the foundation. When we accept, we begin to embrace the experience as it is. And when we embrace it, we have the emotional and mental freedom to allow the treasure that is the lesson to make itself known.
It’s at this point that we can go many ways. Meditation and dream work are a few options. Another trick is journaling about it. Write down any and all facets of the situation including what it did for you and what you did for it, how you felt while in it and how you feel while outside of it. Ask yourself what is that you can learn. Pay attention to any intuitive hits and emotions that come up while journaling. You will start to see the bigger picture and see what it is that you’re meant to glean from the experience.
It may take some time. That’s perfectly okay.
Ultimately, the lesson will be found as long as we are looking for it.
The silver lining is real. Trust and know that.