The universe is intelligence in action. It is so intelligent that it continually provides you the exact lessons you need for your growth and development. If you doubt this, take a look at the situations that repeatedly “show up” in your life because there are no accidental occurrences or re-occurrences. In his book The Prophet, Kahlil Gibran writes, “Much of your pain is self-chosen. It is the bitter potion by which the physician within you heals your sick self”. Truth is, we continually “heal our sick selves” because the people and situations we attract in our lives contain the very lessons we need to learn. This includes the painful ones and the beautiful ones. If we choose not to see the “painful” or negative lessons they will reappear with greater intensity and with greater consequences in the future. For example, do you seem to have the same general “issues” when it comes to relationships or success? The names, faces and personalities may change but the core challenges, problems and issues probably have a consistent theme to them. Also, if you procrastinate, criticize yourself harshly, lack confidence or exhibit some other continual negative habit the impact they have on your life provides you opportunities to learn valuable lessons and make important changes.
Daniel, a 64 year old Investment Broker shared this story with me. “I tend to be a person who has excellent problem solving skills and I like to help others with their problems. I communicate in a very honest and direct manner and because of that I can also turn people off at times. For years, I’ve noticed people get frustrated and upset around me and I always assumed it was their problem, not mine! People would nod their heads in agreement when I offered advice but they really wanted to get out of the conversation as quickly as possible and I didn’t know why. I soon discovered that my attitude, voice and body language were causing others to be uncomfortable. Even though my ideas were good, it didn’t matter because I was turning people off. The truth is, what I was doing was not getting me the results I wanted and when I was able to look at the lesson instead of the need to blame them I was willing to see that I was the cause of my own frustration with people.”
Think back upon your own experiences and notice how often a “lesson” was there for you to see. What comes to mind right away? I believe we all know what the lessons are because chances are we’ve had more than one opportunity to see them. Lessons unlearned will repeat themselves time and time again. However, even when a lesson is repeated we can continue to ignore it because of our greatest human gift; free will. We can simply stick our heads in the sand if we want to. The appearance of a lesson does not guarantee a change. The lesson is merely a signal, like the warning lights on the dashboard of your car. When the oil light appears it reminds you to check your oil because it’s low. If you ignore it too long the consequences become more severe and what began as a minor inconvenience can turn into a big expense. This is exactly the way lessons in our lives operate. The mental, physical and emotional warning lights let you know that a lesson is in front of you and it is up to you to do something. When you are aware of any lesson you always have 3 choices. You can:
1. Deny it
2. See it and do nothing
3. See it and take action
How often do you deny the lessons presented or act as if they aren’t really there? How often are you aware of a lesson and choose to ignore it hoping that somehow it would “be ok”? How many times do you see a lesson, attempt to understand its meaning and decide to take action on it? If you’re not sure where these lessons are, take a look around you. They are available to you every day through the people, places and situations you encounter if you choose to be aware of them.
What will you do with the lessons reflected in your life today?