What’s our typical reaction when something bad happens? Well, that’s a trick question. An event is never good or bad in and of itself. We label things that way based on our conditioning that is rooted in personal upbringing and societal norms. This may be deep rooted, such that a whole lot of people would agree that yes, this is a bad thing. But still, it is conditioned thinking… an alien for example may see things in a totally different light. So, our first reaction is to label it bad. Then we push it away, oppose it, judge it. We may get angry, upset, anxious. There is a contraction that gets stored in the body too. Eventually this is what causes disease (dis-ease).
Instead, what if in the face of every occurrence, and especially those which we would label bad, we ask, “what is this for?” What if we ask, “what is a core belief that chooses these symptoms?” What if we see these so-called bad things as pointers to something that needs to be worked on? Otherwise, why are we on this planet? We are on earth school, we are here to learn. Life will teach, one way or another, the lessons will come. It is inevitable.
Going through suffering is proof that there is work to be done. The work is to uproot core beliefs and conditioning, to break free and to live an exuberant life. This conditioning starts young too, as infants we keenly observe everything and take everything to be our own. So that is why a child living in a combative family will take on the guilt. That is why children of broken families believe they caused the divorce. Even the small things solidify into guilt – like “my mom is always late picking me up so she must not love me.” This sounds ridiculous to us now, but remember we are referring to toddlers and infants so there is not yet a logic filter operating.
The first step to turning around our perspective is self-love, and self-forgiveness. This is deep, radical self-forgiveness. Healing takes time and it’s a total paradigm shift, not a shallow arm-wave “ok I forgive myself, now what?” There is a deep transformation. The shift is from a story of guilt to one of taking responsibility for everything that happens to you. This may sound unreasonable but it’s already true in your life. Everything you do, everything you have, and most importantly how you feel inside is a mirror reflection of who you think you are. There is no other way things could have turned out, to this point.
The key point in life is this: In all things, we rejoice or suffer from our interpretation of neutral events. The self chooses the experience, not the circumstances.
Next comes a totally open and free expression of acceptance – almost a fascination with what may come your way, and how you react to it. Asking, “what is this for?” and “what am I to learn from this?” It all becomes a curiosity. Yes of course things can still trigger you but those are also learning opportunities, that’s the whole point. Life becomes an exploration rather than a collection of things to run away from or run towards… likes and dislikes. That’s the whole root of suffering right there.
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