When life gives you lemons, make lemonade. Right?
And perhaps you take a moment to contemplate your feelings and perceptions about those rotten lemons in the first place….
There is a saying in A Course In Miracles (and I’m paraphrasing) that ‘we don’t get to choose our lessons, simply whether we learn through joy or pain.’ I don’t know about you but I seem to always choose pain.
The lessons really seem to stick when you have to suffer to really GET them. Don’t they?
When life gives you a smack down, the first thing to do, once you come up for air is to ask, what inherent belief systems and behavioral systems does this challenge? What are the choices here? What is this forcing me to look at? Forcing me to get?
I saw a documentary last night, called FIERCE GRACE about Ram Dass and his recovery from a stroke. He said that when he “was stroked,” he fell out of bed and was laying on the floor stairing up at the ceiling. No thoughts of God. No thoughts of Spirit. It made him think that if his thoughts could be so far from spiritual at the brink of death, he still had a lot of work to do on this plane.
And this is what happens in life. We do not have a choice about what lessons we need to learn, just how we choose to learn them and when we choose to learn them. What I mean is, that we have been given opportunities to learn our lessons throughout our lives. Sometimes we face the music and sometimes we take an Incomplete and put the lesson off for another moment in time.
But if we are open to it. If we look at our lives and say what does this mean? Why am I here? What do I have to learn from this? And we truly listen to the answers, it can be very revealing.
As I mentioned before, I’ve been having trouble with my ankles. It has been a struggle – to keep up, to deal with the pain, to be as active as I was before. And just last week, I was literally hobbled: unable to walk. And when I really look at how hard that is for me – I see that this ankle is here to teach me. To take my practice deeper. Because it is all well to meditate and pray (and necessary) but can we keep our calm in the chaos of everyday life? Can I be spiritual when my body is betraying me? (check out that belief!!) Yes, it is in LIFE that we practice.
For me, everything in my life is forcing me to learn patience. And it is testing my faith. Can I be patient? Can I have faith and trust that I don’t need to rush things, and that I don’t need to try to bend the universe to my will? Can I have patience with the healing process – my heart, my bodies and the process of others? Can I trust that it will all be ok?
Yes, the universe has our number. And it’s gonna keep calling til we answer. It offers us the opportunity to grow and expand. Learning lessons can be painful. It doesn’t have to be but if you are like me, I seem to always opt for the painful ones. But can we use our pain. Can we look through our pain to the cause? What perception am I holding on to? What behavior am I resistant to change though it doesn’t serve me?
If we can use the moments in life that bring us to our knees to better ourselves, we can choose to see the world through new eyes. We can go deeper within ourselves: our consciousness, our spirit. And we emerge wiser and with truer sight : the new phoenix, born from the ash.