“All problems are invitations to look deeper and live higher.”
One day I was giving a client a massage. Sometimes we talk; sometimes we’re quiet. This session she was asking me questions and my history with drug use addiction came up quite nonchalantly. She was surprised, and I was too—not because I was talking about it but by how neutral it all felt.
I’m so far from the shame and embarrassment of it all, now all I can see is the gift in it. If I didn’t have those experiences, I wouldn’t be me and be so understanding and compassionate of how others might be feeling, depending on where they are on their path and journey.
I wouldn’t have the awe and gratitude for what it feels like to have 10,000 angels as my guide, helping me and carrying me out of awful situations and into safety. I wouldn’t know deep in my being that I am loved, and it’s all on purpose for my greatest and highest good.
If I hadn’t worn a molded back brace for 2 years, had a spinal fusion at 16, missed out on my dream of being a college athlete, I wouldn’t be as empathetic to others who are feeling stuck and lost at that age.
I wouldn’t have sought out so many alternative therapies to help myself and others know that there’s another way. I wouldn’t be as encouraging and happy for people who are recovering quicker, faster, stronger. I wouldn’t be a bodyworker, homeopath, and health coach.
There are so many experiences of hardship, loss, gain, and triumph that I’ve had that have made me… me. And as I woke up on a river beach last weekend, celebrating my birthday and reflecting on all the rotations around the sun up until now, I decided with great love and appreciation that I quite like being me. I’m thankful for all of my experiences in life.
When I see people come in with their problems or hear of tragedies, I first honor their grief, pain, confusion, and frustration, but I also can’t help but to also see their hearts grow 10 sizes right in that moment. I can see the gift already because I believe all experiences are lessons for us to learn how to return to love in this human incarnation.
How might the diagnosis you identify yourself with be serving you in some way? Can you listen more astutely to the messages your body is sending you? Life is a game, not a battle. Your body is your friend and teammate and loves you.
How is that discord with your co-worker/partner/family member showing up to help your heart grow? Is the lesson to be more patient or more powerful? To draw a boundary or to be more forgiving?
How is that breakup, job loss, eviction, addiction, death, natural disaster bringing with it a silver lining of something greater? Can you expand your senses beyond the form into the formless?
Even receiving good fortune can have its own challenges. How good can you let things be? Do you feel worthy enough to receive when you don’t have problems or need anything? Do you need to create problems and dramas to learn your lessons from a place of pain and suffering? Or can you learn from a place of joy and inspiration?
The only constant in your life is you. It’s all happening for you. It’s all for you. Everything is you.
The more you begin to see the Divine in yourself, the more you begin to see the Divine in all things.
With a little (or a lot) of perspective we can see that life is happening for us, not to us. This is easier when we’re removed from the emotional charge of being in it. At first,it took a decade to get my aha moments of my problems and challenges being opportunities. It took years to gain the wisdom that only came after I realized how neutral it all was. Now, it doesn’t take as long to see the light in the dark.
When you become the observer of your life, watching it like a movie, like a fly on the wall, without emotional charge, it’s impossible not to see how our challenges are our greatest gifts, no exceptions. Everything happening in our outer experience is an amazing opportunity to learn more of who we are, to remember that we chose to be here and that we’re here to be who we came here to be.
The gifts in all things allow us to experience miracles in our life and in turn help others experience miracles in theirs just by being ourselves. The gifts are how we’re relate to others. They’re how we resonate as a mirror for someone else to see themselves from a place of safety, belonging, and non-judgment. They’re how we can be more understanding, more sympathetic, more encouraging.
They’re how we gain insights and wisdom. They’re how we get to be an example of what’s possible. They’re how we serve and help just by being ourselves and owning with great appreciation everything that has come to pass, scars and all.