So, here it is... the TRUTH... absolutely 100%... no holding back here: Life is not all butterflies and daisies... It's just not. S&*t happens. Sometimes really torrential s*&t happens... I'm not talking about things like your car breaks down on the way to work in the morning... Although things like that do happen and they definitely can throw a wrench in your day, your week, your career, or financially your year... And I acknowledge that even the small things sometimes feel like a tsunami when compiled. But these are the kinds of things that we can usually find a way to look at objectively, and identify some sort of good. Maybe that unanticipated and unwanted break from work led to a much needed change in career path, maybe facing financial hardship helped you to recognize how much support was actually available to you, maybe you needed to walk or bike to work because your activity level has been on a steady decline since 1981... There all sorts of possibilities there. And because it is a temporary situation, those who are focused on embracing the positive in their lives, will likely find a way to spin it. But what about the real s&%t?
What about when you are diagnosed with a chronic illness that forever alters your life? What about disabilities? Losing limbs? What about when people die? What about devastating tragedies? What about a terminal prognosis that you simply were not expecting or ready for?
I am going to say this once, with all of the love in my heart... the message is still the same. We all come to a physical end at some point... sometimes the journey seems cut short.. and sometimes we have physical impairments along the way... none of this defines you. Your ability to jump or build or whatever it is that you do that you need your limbs for, does not define you. Your physical wellness does not define you. Needing some type of treatment to stay alive does not define you. Your capabilities do not define you. Your losses, do not define you. Your relationships do not define you. Your lifespan or your life's work does not define you. Your accomplishments in this life time, do not define you. So then, what does?
You are All that you are, which is comprised of the lessons found through all of your experiences combined with the way that you go about them and the spirit with which you maneuver them, and all of the intricate ways that that spirit branches out to effect everything else in the universe. BE the spirit. Flow through it. Evolve.
I am aware that I am speaking in relatively abstract terms that seem easy to say when one isn't in it. But trust me, I've been in 4 of the positions mentioned above, some more than once, plus others that didn't quite make the editing cut. And while none of them were necessarily easy to "spin" and several took quite a while to navigate successfully, I have found hope and strength and understanding and resiliency and awareness of all that I am, through all of them. Each experience, no matter how tragic it may feel at the time, does carry a lesson for our individual soul. And it carries a different lesson for each and every soul touched by it! That is the miracle! A divine masterpiece that is constantly unfolding!
I believe that we choose our paths. And perhaps this will be too "out there" for some of you. But I believe that I have chosen every tragedy I have ever encountered, because it carried an awareness that was needed by my soul. When I look at the experience and I ask the question, "Why would I have chosen this?" My soul always answers. I no longer feel like a victim. I feel like a crusader, and I know that I am on my path. I am grateful for my experience as I have lived it, because I have opened myself to grow through it. I am not saying that my growth validates any tragedy or justifies any death or loss... The overall REASON that these things happen is beyond my personal scope of understanding. But I am aware that my growth is a part of that larger expansive reason, and so I embrace it. Everything is as it needs to be, exactly as it is, whether or not I fully understand it. I trust in the universal plan and I will play my part in the ultimate unfolding of it. I stop fighting. I surrender to what I cannot control, and I accept the grace to move through it by adjusting what I can control-- my perception of it.
I am not saying that that means you cannot be sad. You are allowed to grieve. You are allowed to cry. You are allowed to miss people, or miss limbs, or miss capabilities that perhaps a physical ailment is keeping you from. You are allowed to have moments where you feel that it's just not fair and that perhaps you deserve more or better, and maybe you do! Learn the lesson and you will get there! You are allowed to sometimes want your struggle to be recognized. You are allowed to sometimes feel like the world is closing... but you must at some point emerge! Move through those moments. Move through them and open yourself to receive the growth... to receive the lesson. Ask the questions, "Why would I have chosen this? What is my soul trying to tell me?" BE spirit. Feel how much MORE you are than that particular moment, and flow through it.
As you begin to flow through and recognize the strength of your spirit and it's ability to thrive, you will build your resiliency to any tragedy. You will know that you are bigger than anything that comes your way. And you will know that the physical aspect of your existence is not the end of it. By accepting the growth, you will open to your own blooming. You will feel the expansive energy of your soul. And it is infinite.
So don't think there is a limit to this finding JOY thing. There is not. Don't think that there is any tragedy so big that you cannot grow through it. Yes, there will be some tears and there will be some pain and there will be some endings of things as we know them... but there will also be growth and expansion and infinitely MORE. And through that expansion comes the ultimate JOY of realizing ALL that YOU ARE. Be ready and willing to embrace it.