It was another amazing week. Did you know that life isnâ€™t fair? It often isnâ€™t easy. It comes with challenges, pain, and setbacks. I have been reminded of this over and over again through the heartache faced by my niece and her family as they maneuver the unimaginable weight created by their 2 year-old sonâ€™s leukemia, and one of my dearest friends was held up at gunpoint, left alive but feeling her freedom and peace of mind were taken away along with her purse. The purse can be replaced. Fear is harder to extract. Can there really be happiness here? I still believe it’s possible.
We keep trying to run away from tension and pain in our lives. We crave our comfort zone, and it is wonderful when we get to enjoy a smooth patch of life now and then. However, by its nature the human experience brings with it much we do not understand and it contains its fair share of inevitable twists and turns.
Life is far better when we discover how to surrender to itâ€¦ all of itâ€¦ even the hard parts, and to conserve our energy rather than resist. Durable happiness is ours when we discover that we can experience it despite the hurdles and potholes. The simple miracles of life actually taste even sweeter because we value the blessings by having known their opposites or by having weathered our way through hard decisions.
To love and to evolve, these are what we are called to do here on this journey from our head to our heart.
Although we are spiritual beings, we are living a human experience that is sometimes beyond our comprehension. Because we are human, our progress is not always in forward steps. But through tension and simple joys, forward and backward steps, we can find our way to seeing that love is present and possible at the high points as well as amidst tension.
Though life sometimes calls for three steps forward followed by two back, leaning in a forward direction in spite of the circumstances brought to us by life is what allows us to experience deeper meaning, fuels our consciousness, and stretches our evolution. Itâ€™s what provides meaning and possibility to what we cannot fully make sense of. Personal growth seems to require tension in our lives. Happiness requires courage.
Tension, suffering, and pain are initiated when we feel our expectations are not met or the unexpected catches us off guard. Our greatest suffering is not the result of our circumstances as much as we want to place blame there. It comes from feeling alone. We isolate ourselves by holding on too tight to our own human vision of what life â€˜shouldâ€™ be. Happiness pleads with us to loosen our grip, and yet we move through life as if we have our foot on the accelerator with our parking brake on. The conflict of what is and what we want it to be fight each other. We exhaust and waste our energy as we struggle to regain a sense of control, attempting to force life to fit into our stubborn mold. What would happen if we merely let life lead?
It is a hard learned lesson for many of us that control is only an illusion, and that life is more joyful once we surrender to it, even when immersed in the most overwhelming circumstances. Tension is transformed, peace found, happiness experienced, and miracles realized when conflicting dimensions of reality are brought together in creative sense of balance and in wholeness through our ability to choose love as the guiding force regardless of the circumstances.
Disappointments, sadness, and irritations for now seem to remain an integral part of our human experience even when we donâ€™t fully understand why. However, they prove to offer opportunities to grow if we embrace rather than resist them. The more we resist, the more they persist. We cannot prevent them, but we can expand our ability to handle them with grace. This path to happiness and peace of mind has little to do with the circumstances. It is inner, not outer.
Allowing space for what we cannot understand, forgiving ourselves for our anger, and encouraging our emotions to pass through acknowledged without attaching to them remaining long term residents makes way for noticing simple miracles even in the darkest times. Instead of asking, â€œWhy is this happening to me?â€ we come to ask â€œWhat can I learn?â€ or â€œWhat gift is hiding here?â€
It seems to be that being uncomfortable is what motivates us to interact with life. It confirms that we are alive. It is our discomfort that triggers new insights. When we stretch beyond our comfort zone our heart is more likely to open allowing us to lean willingly forward into life. A vulnerable heart is what hones us and acts as the catalyst for our personal evolution — it provides the opportunity for us, regardless of the circumstances, to discern the lesson, see the light, feel the love, experience the gift, and to reach for the highest ground with expanded awareness.
So, today I raise my glass to my fellow travelers who continue to see joy and manifest courage amidst crisis. I am inspired by and grateful to walk with those who are determined to take one more step forward after two discouraging steps back. Evolving may take greater focus and attention than remaining numb and angry, however, through believing that the light always dissolves and transforms the darkness, the gift we receive is happiness and love from the insight-out.
We lovevolvelovevolve. Together. Connected.