One of the most important lessons we can learn is that everything happens for a reason.
This can be a very difficult truth for people to accept, especially those who feel the need to control their outer world. Yet, we must recognize that attempting to control our surroundings often ends in suffering. This is because things often do not go as we planned and/or expected.
We simply cannot impose our personal will over the will of the Universe.
When we can learn to accept that everything happens for a reason, we will also come to realize that our negative experiences have a purpose. This realization is very liberating. It enables us to make note of the silver lining or positive benefit birthed out of each negative situation.
We free ourselves from suffering by locating the positive outcomes and accepting and releasing the negative outcomes of each of our life experiences.
Connecting the Dots
In the beginning, it was challenging for me to accept that all of the negative things that happened to me were for a reason. But, my examination and exploration of spirituality gave me the tools to see these negative experiences through a different lens.
I began to notice all the good things that came out of each one of my life’s so-called negative experiences.
I would be on the wrong path and the Universe would disturb my plans, causing me temporary suffering, so that I could get on the right path.
Many of us will be able to relate to this when we think about dating and relationships. We may believe that we are with the right person, and the relationship might end unexpectedly and painfully. Later, we come to realize that the relationship had to end for us to meet someone who was much more compatible with us.
Alexander Graham Bell once wisely stated, “When one door closes, another opens; but we often look so long and so regretfully upon the closed door that we do not see the one which has opened for us.”
When negative things happen to us in life and a door closes, we must remember to connect the dots and keep our eyes open for the doors that are opening.
Learning To Trust By Experience
While this concept can be understood intellectually, it is important that it be validated experientially before we accept it as a truth.
In the future, when something does not go as planned, we must repeat to ourselves, “I know this happened for a reason and I will see the reason soon.”
Instead of dwelling on our misfortune, we must stay in the present moment and have faith that the reason for the experience will reveal itself at a later time. If we do this, we can easily recognize it when it presents itself to us later that day or in the future.
Here is an example: we leave the power chord for our laptop at home and have to leave the office to retrieve it. Instead of getting down on ourselves for being so careless, we have faith that this is happening for a reason.
On the return trip, we decide to stop at the convenience store and run into an old friend that we had not seen in years. During a brief discussion, they unknowingly provide us with the answers to one of our most pressing questions. If we stay in the present moment, we will recognize that this experience could only happen because we forgot our power chord that morning.
Another example: a meeting runs late and we miss our scheduled flight home. Instead of being upset about having to take a different flight three hours later, we repeat to ourselves that this is happening for a reason. Later our seat is upgraded to First Class and we end up sitting next to somebody who shares a mutual friend with us and with whom we have many other things in common. This encounter results in a lifelong friendship.
We are able to live our lives firmly in the present moment and from love when we do not dwell on the negatives of our life experiences. When we do this, we will notice the doors opening for us. And, when we notice these doors opening, we will find ourselves smiling and giving a nod to the Universe.