In this season of festivity and family, many people feel lacking and focused on what isn't working. The following is an experience I had that made me look at the deeper meaning of life and put things in perspective.
One day I received a call from a woman who was paralyzed. She had overcome cancer only to be faced with a debilitating illness that forced her to life in a wheelchair. She was barely able to dress herself. She told me that life was a daily challenge, but that she took the things that happened to her as a signal to go deeper, to understand more the blessings that WERE in her life It wasn't that she didn't experience moments of despair...she did. But she realized that there was meaning to her life, and that she must find the gift within the pain.
She works now with others who are facing health challenges to inspire them.
When I got off the phone I looked at my own life, and thought about how many of us agonize over trivia. We make huge crisis out of things that for this woman or for someone facing REAL distress are merely annoyances.
We often lose sight of our lives as a blessing. Yet they are. And in our rush to have everything be perfect and right, we hold a rigid line between ourselves and anything that threatens our concept of that perfection. It is the Cinderella story playing itself again and again in our psyches...that somehow if we do everything the way we "should"...life will give us a prince or princess or whatever else we see as the ultimate fantasy goal, and THEN we will live happily ever after.
We are told through all religious precepts that life is a reflection: As Above, So Below...and this can also be looked at from a perspective of As Within, So Without, or visa versa. We live in a self-reflecting universe, and as seasons come and go and return again, so does life bring us a little summer, a touch of autumn, good and bad winters, and the blessed renewal of spring. We learn that life goes around, not straight ahead.
In our journey, we all want the "best" life has to offer, but sometimes what is for our greatest growth goes way beyond our comprehension of what that might be. The struggle to maintain a rigid ideal of what the "best" is can be limiting to our potential. We need to open ourselves to allowing life to be the teacher, and to follow its lead as open minded students. What we are given is always an opportunity for growth...growth that is the most important kind...that of our soul.