Sometimes things that appear to be misfortunes are actually the universe sending messages that we need to hear. While I feel like I know his in my head, to live through it and know it is quite a different message. After reflecting on a series of events that literally left me half-believing I had a curse, I realized there were important messages underneath each event; I just had to see them.
Of course, when we are in the moment, we are inclined to react to the stimuli of the event. Conditioned responses, fear, self-pity, helplessness, anger; all of these rear their ugly heads. When we take a step back and look for the gift within each event, we can appreciate the message we needed to hear. That does not mean that we suddenly love what happened, but it does mean that we can find something that we are grateful for because of the event. By consciously looking for the gift, we reprogram our minds to seek out the gift, rather than allow ourselves to wallow in the negative experience. We can reprogram ourselves to find the gift within each event, and be thankful for the opportunity to learn the lesson.
For me, it all started two weeks ago. A phone call from my daughter needing my help with a flat tire was the first in a string of events that actually allowed me to see beyond the misfortune these events brought me, and then find the hidden messages that I needed to hear. The messages that I now see were gifts piggy-backing along with the events; gifts that made me see the bigger picture. The events were big enough to capture my attention, and they were presenting themselves to me over and over, one right after the other, until I was able to see.
You see, the incidents were metaphors for what was going on in my life. Over the past several months, I have been very focused on excelling at my job. A noble pursuit, of course, but what I did not realize was, because of such a rigid focus on one thing, I was neglecting other areas of my life. I also now see that my focus on my ambition masked insecurities and fears that I did not want to recognize within me. In addition to my regular hours spent at work, I had been spending many hours working at home doing extra projects for the office. While all of these things are actually very commendable, they absolutely need to be kept in perspective. I had been neglecting the rest of my life, and these events were all symbolically trying to show me that I needed to slow down, refocus, and get back in balance. A flat tire requires roadside assistance and a replacement tire; a water leak from my clothes washer spills over from the second floor to the ground floor causing thousands of dollars in damage to my home; a molar cracks after years of chewing pressure resulting in extensive dental work; a bank error results in a significant sum of money being deducted out of my account; I receive a speeding ticket with a hefty fine. I am grateful for the opportunity to rediscover the parts of me that I have put on the back burner. It took events rich in symbolism for me to realize I was overextending myself, but I also had to be open to the messages. I had to look for them.
We need to condition ourselves to seek out the good, the message, the gift in everything. A hard rain never lasts long, and everything happens for a reason. Be aware, tune in, and always be grateful for the lesson.