One of the things I hear people say when they are facing challenges is, “I know this is happening for a reason.” It’s as if they are searching for some understanding, have a sense that there is meaning in what is happening, but don’t know where to go from there. I certainly get it. I used to say things like that too.
Now, when I hear that, it feels the same as saying, “It is what it is.” What does that mean anyway? Does that bring comfort, peace or a sense of understanding? I don’t think so. It’s like it just falls flat – like we’re resolving to accept the situation as it is and being in a place of powerlessness. I am not down with that, and you shouldn’t be either!
As someone who has faced many challenges in my life, I learned a long time ago, that the way I thought about what was happening, affected the feelings I had, as well as my attitude about dealing with the situation. We hold a lot of power, and yet many times, we forget that.
Wayne Dyer said, “Change the way you look at things and the things you look at change.” Wayne was a student of A Course in Miracles and a passionate agent of change. He wanted people to see their inherent power and purpose. His work focused on changing the thoughts we hold in our mind so that we could see things from a bigger picture.
Over the last six years, I have been digging in deep to change the way I look at things. Six years ago, I was in a place where it felt like nothing was working. I tried my best, but despite my best efforts, I continued to struggle. I would say things like, “I know this is happening for a reason…” but the reality was, that’s where it stopped. And I mean, no forward motion. I was stuck and kept “circling the bowl” as I call it.
Then I learned how to do something different. I began to ask questions. I did not want to resign myself or circumstances to a position of being powerless. Tony Robbins says that life is not happening to us, it is happening for us. Just take a moment to consider that and if you started to look at what is happening and unfolding in your life as for your growth, how would that alter your perception and attitude about your life?
Imagine this, the next time, or even now, you are facing a challenge in your life, you first say to yourself, “Here I am. (Take a couple of deep breaths) I might not understand the reason this situation is happening the way it is, and I don’t need to. What I need to do is look for the opportunity in this situation.” Then begin to ask questions to gain a broader understanding. Here are some examples of questions you could ask:
What feeling(s) is this situation bringing up for me?
Are these feelings I have felt before (is this familiar)?
Is this a situation I find myself in frequently (is this a pattern)?
What is the situation calling for me to do, or not do?
Is this situation bringing up fear?
Is the fear real or imagined? Is there a call to action?
Am I triggered or in an activated state (showing you a wound)?
Is this situation the result of choices that I made when I was not living consciously and intentional?
What is this situation offering me as an opportunity to evolve and become more conscious?
What is required of me to face this situation?
What support do I need to move through this situation?
These are just some examples of questions I ask myself. There are indeed more questions that might be appropriate to the particular situation. The goal of asking questions is to start looking beyond the apparent struggle and at the invitation to grow.
I love quotes because they help me to think about things in new ways. Glennon Doyle says, “First comes the pain, then the lesson, and then the wisdom.” I feel like that is how this works. So if you are in pain, know the lesson and wisdom will come. You need to face what is front of you and do the best you can. It does not matter how you got to where you are, what matters is what you do to with what is in front of you.
There is much in my life that I do not understand, and I have found much more peace when I let go of trying to understand the reason. Now, I practice accepting what is happening with an open mind and trusting that things will be revealed and unfold for my highest good.
For more reading on how to change your mind, check out any books by Wayne Dyer, Louis Hay, Glennon Doyle, and Brené Brown. There are so many beautiful books out there; these are just a few of my favorite authors.
Sending Big Love
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