Imagine if all beings could trust in the perfection of the universe. How would your relationship to events change if you believed that the universe is perfectly imperfect? For the longest time I struggled with reality on a daily basis. My judging mind would categorize life’s events as “good” or “bad” and I would consistently fight against the current of that which I deemed unfair, wrong, or unpleasant. It wasn’t until I discovered meditation and equanimity that I learned to practice dropping the struggle against reality. It is inevitable that both good and bad events will happen to us. You can believe those things happen to us in order to prepare us for the next chapter of your life. Or you can choose to take the perspective of victim and lament all the bad things that happen. If you can find gratitude for the growth that inherently results from difficulty, you will come to understand that there are some lessons that can only be learned by going through difficult times.
"What you are going through now is exactly what is necessary for your highest personal growth and soul development"
How do you judge events that happen to you in your life? My typical reaction to life used to be an automatic categorizing of events as 'fine and great' or 'bad and wrong.' Then if a series of unfortunate events would happen I would feel like my whole life was a mess and I'd get stressed out and overwhelmed. As a result, when something good happened I'd be so caught up in the story of "how awful" that I would not recognize the great things happening. There is a parable about a farmer whose horse ran away. “What bad luck!” villagers declared. “Who knows, we shall see,” replied the farmer. The next day the horse came back with a herd of wild horses. "What a blessing!" the villagers declared. "Who knows, we shall see," replied the farmer. Then the farmer’s son broke his leg training the new horses. Again, "bad fortune!" judged the villagers, but the farmer replied, "Who knows, we shall see". Soon after that the military came to draft his son into the war and couldn’t because of the broken leg. "Good fortune!" cried the villagers, to which the farmer responded, "Who knows, we shall see!" The farmer did not get sucked into judging the events of life, rather, he remained open, neutral, accepting, and equanimous.
And so a similar story plays out in our lives when things go wrong, and we declare it as bad luck or good fortune. The truth is that all events are creating a beautiful tapestry called life. If you’re only focusing on the “bad luck” threads, you will never recognize them as an integral and necessary part of the whole tapestry. What you are going through now is exactly what is necessary for your highest personal growth and soul development. Allow yourself to trust that all is well in all of creation no matter what your judging mind may think.
An abridged version of this blog post will appear in Maui Vision Magazine 2018 Fall Edition
Tanya Gabriel, MA, LMHC provides affordable counseling and mindfulness instruction. She is passionate about teaching present moment awareness to her community.