There’s a theme going through my head these days and it’s about a fallacy that we tell ourselves based on a lot of spiritual teachings, old and new. This fallacy goes something like, if things are working out this means we’re on the “right track”. We made the right choice. Spiritual growth means life is easy when we’re aligned with the Universe, with God, with our highest consciousness. If not, well, we made a wrong turn somewhere.
Yes but…I don’t think it’s that black and white.
And I think this variation on fundamentalist thinking can cause significant harm and confusion. I’ve taken on a broader context surrounding all of this, not so either/or, and that broader context has become, LEARN TO TRUST. Learn to be compassionate. Simple (but not easy).
Of course if a person’s life is a complete train-wreck and they’re miserable on 900 levels, then yes, it’s possible that they became disconnected somewhere along the way. I believe there is such a thing as the “wrong track” but whether an individual is on that track is to be judged by the individual, not by anyone else. The truth is, sometimes things have to get chaotic for a time (sometimes for a long time) before we get what we’re supposed to get from an experience.
We have a tendency to become judge and jury for another person’s life experience. I believe it’s human nature to fall into this way of thinking; it’s a form of empathy. But as much as I resist this, I’m guilty of doing it myself every now and then, primarily to myself, second guessing my decisions and fearing I blew it.
The most recent example is in the purchase of our new home.
I was so excited for this to work out. I wanted it so badly. My husband was a little leery of the older radiant heating system, so I asked him what it would take for him to be comfortable and he determined that in addition to the home inspection he wanted additional professional assurances that the system was healthy. We arranged that, it was additionally inspected, good to go. So, my husband sighed relief, we bought the house and to make a long story short, just found out the radiant heat system is b-r-o-k-e-n.
So… we just moved in and as soon as it’s time to turn on the heat, we discover it’s non-functional in half the house, despite all the safe-guards we took.
Now we’re faced with replacing an entire heating system on our house, tearing up floors, walls… not to mention the expense. I get hives just thinking about it, and that’s somewhat literal. As soon as this was diagnosed this week, I came down with a terrible cold and a rash over half my body.
So, for a brief period of time, I regressed into that place of, “Kristy, you blew this one. You forced it. This wasn’t supposed to be, and you over-rode your intuition. You failed.”
All because things didn’t appear to be working out just now. No question, it’s a messy situation. This doesn’t feel like smooth-sailing. This is the universe clubbing us over the head…
And then I calmed down.
It took about three hours. But I felt with my heart rather than with my fear and my heart told me what I knew all along; We’re capable of dealing with this.
I remembered that my husband and I are not powerless. We can handle this. And I envisioned what it would feel like to get a brand new radiant heat system that we know we can trust, that is safe and energy efficient and a wise expenditure of time and money. That felt so good, so right.
This is a major deal, but getting through this, finding a way to feel peaceful through all of this, feels like spiritual growth to me. It feels like a really good teacher.
On my beloved dry-erase board in my office (to-do lists are one of my favorite things in life) is a line that reads “S.T.A.R. is not the absence of pain“. It’s a reminder. To learn the way of Surrender, Trust, Allow, Receive does not mean a pathway to a life that never stings, that never bites every now and then. It just means that spiritual growth becomes less agonizing and more fascinating, less judgmental and more compassionate.
And what I’m trying to say is, that if you find yourself in a difficult place, don’t second guess your reasons for being there. Don’t tell yourself that your inner navigation system is faulty, that there’s something wrong with you. Surrender to the possibility that you are there BECAUSE of the difficulties, that perhaps those difficulties are the very reason you made those choices. Just maybe they’re your teachers right now, your pathway to freedom. Spiritual growth can look ugly every now and then. It can hurt like hell.
You are divinely capable in all ways. Remember that.
If you care to read more about the S.T.A.R. Philosophy for spiritual growth, jump over here.