Sometimes we get overwhelmed by external events that seem to be nothing but negative. The loss of a job, an accident or illness can frighten us and awaken our worst fears. What if we were to choose to believe that there may exist an underlying good in everything? That maybe our negative judgement of a situation is not the whole picture and more may be revealed? Perhaps it is not evident as quickly as with the man in the story above, but think back to the last time you struggled. Did you learn something you needed to know that improved the overall quality of your life? Deep lessons in forgiveness or acceptance come to mind. Did something in your life change for the better as a result, perhaps in an unexpected way? Were you disappointed to not get a job you wanted only to find another job come your way later down the road that moved you forward beyond your dreams? Did someone step up to the plate for you in a time of desperate need and bring more light and love to your life?
Melody Beattie, an author best known for her books on co-dependency, wrote about her body becoming wracked with disabling pain as her soul's way of getting her attention so she could create a better life for herself. Sometimes it takes a catastrophic incident to disrupt the status quo and move us out of a life pattern that does not really nourish us. Choosing to allow ourselves to believe that good will come provides opportunity to have more good, and invites us to suffer less.
As we move towards the holiday season, I am reminded of the importance of gratitude and appreciation. This year has been a challenging year and I think it is helpful to express gratitude for some of the hard things that we were gifted with, the things that made us stretch our limits, find our inner strengths and connections, the experiences that pushed us to evolve into more of our soul connection, into more of who we really are. To paraphrase one of my best teachers, "When you get to the place where you really like who you are and where you're at, you'll be grateful for all the challenges that got you there".