“It passes, until then, it teaches,” Vienna Pharaon. Buddhism speaks of the circular nature of lessons. We will face the same lesson over and over again until we learn the lesson. And sometimes it’s like an onion where we may integrate the first part of the lesson but a while later, even after we think we’ve resolved the issue, it shows up again. We are constantly learning in this life. I think about how many times I’ve rushed through my day. How angry I’ve gotten on the drive into work because people weren’t driving how I wanted them to. How I’ve wanted to be home while I’m at work. The common thread there is not wanting to be where I am. I started to realize that I was wishing my life away. I was spending more time hating what I was doing than I was building what I wanted to do. All of that was serving to teach me to be patient and to take the chance to do something I really wanted to. It was teaching me not to waste my time.
I spent so many years wallowing in things that were long passed. I created a horrible track for myself going over every mistake I made, repeating everything that had been done to me, every negative experience I had ever been through. At one point it clicked that I was looking for the negative in every situation. I relished being the victim. Being the victim meant I was perpetually innocent and there was nothing I could do in life to make my situation better. Any lack of success was not a result of my actions so I couldn’t be held responsible for any failure. I could wrap myself in a little cocoon and stay safe while someone else did the work. And then I realized that I didn’t want to do that anymore. Yes, failure sucked but I could keep going because I wanted to achieve something more than I wanted to be the victim.
This isn’t to say that I didn’t have my fair share of really tough experiences—who doesn’t? But I finally understood that I had some say in how I looked at those experiences. Being the victim wasn’t getting me anywhere, and I really wanted to get somewhere. I also had to learn that not all experiences were for me. I wasn’t meant to be the best at everything. I was meant to be the best at what was meant for me. It took a lot to understand that I really had a lot more say than I thought I did. Just because I wasn’t able to make people drive how I wanted them to, I did have the power to go a different route or to play games with my son to make it easier. That made me realize that I could change pretty much anything in my life.
I’m still practicing this because I’m stretching my “intuition legs” so to speak. I’m learning to follow the signs and to trust the universe. I’m no longer saying no to what is meant for me. I’m learning to have faith that if something happens that it was meant to be, and yes, even with imperfection good things can still happen. Sometimes we build up what we fear and what we think will happen so much that we lose sight of what really is.
The other lesson is that sometimes we have to give in and allow the lesson to reveal itself. Even if there are multiple levels to it, the sooner we acknowledge what is happening, the sooner we can integrate and move forward. My control issues were phenomenal to the point where I couldn’t stand the simplest interruption to my plans. Had I simply allowed and learned earlier, I know I wouldn’t have faced three quarters of the issues I did. Letting go and trusting in order to learn is another one I faced over and over until I stopped controlling every facet of my life. Sometimes we see it, sometimes we need to hear it a thousand times. Either way, the choice is ours.