People always say that life is a gift, and that never used to make sense to me. I was thoroughly convinced that it was actually a burden at best (and a cruel joke by any fair estimation). Maybe it’s because life is a challenge as well as a gift, and I’ve never really liked challenges much.
I guess that’s a pretty damning confession here in America, where we tend to measure a person’s value by the degree to which they enjoy being challenged (or at least by the degree to which they respond to challenges in a positive way).
It’s the truth, though. I haven’t liked being challenged, and this has been the case pretty much throughout my whole entire life. Responding to challenges in a healthy way is something that I have only just now (over the past year or so) been acquiring a taste for…and that is happening simply of necessity. It’s become a sink or swim thing. I suppose it would be more realistic to say that it’s been a sink or swim thing the whole freaking time, and that my being stubborn and refusing to adjust my thought processes to this reality has been costing me dearly in every area of life. I mean, it’s at the point now where I’m basically standing in the middle of the wreckage of a house that has been burned completely to the ground, and I’m brushing off the ash and debris, and I’m lying down in the stretcher that’s been rushed up to me by the emergency response personnel, and I’m murmuring to myself things like, “OK. Ok, I get it. I guess I actually have to change the way I view life. I can’t get drunk and play with blow torches and gasoline anymore. I’ve got to stop doing that for real.”
Better late than never, though, hm?
Life is a gift, though, and I’m going to sort of talk myself through it here for a sec.
All of those painful things — from the small pain of minor irritations, to the cataclysmic pain of mind-shattering grief and loss — they may be everywhere, and they may make things difficult, but they are there for a reason. It’s a good reason. It’s not a malicious reason, or a cruel reason. They are there to teach you that something needs to change.
That deep-down certainty that you can’t actually change in the ways that are necessary to avoid these painful things — that’s a part of the big lie.
The big lie is huge, and it’s complex, and it’s been chasing you down your entire life, but it hasn’t killed you yet, and now that you’re waking up to the reality of things, and experiencing the sincere and genuine type of heart change that is necessary for actual spiritual evolution, it never will. You’ve always felt like it would be impossible for you to make the shift and to step onto the right path, but you are really doing it now. It’s really happening.
Cherish each and every moment of this new awakening, and squeeze the last drop of wisdom from every trace of pain that you experience. Every time you do this, you will grow, and the pain will lose power. As this continues to happen, you will become more and more accustomed to right mindfulness, and this will lead to right action as you grow comfortable in this mode of existence.
The old patterns will still try to happen, but you don’t need to be afraid of them anymore. Just do your best to be calm and to watch them fade away. Do your best. It’s not about being perfect. It’s about being you. And you are good stuff.
Okay, sweet. Positive self talk over.