Forks in the road...what am I doing???
There is a fork in the road..which way do you go? Change. It happens while you are searching. It happens while just getting through each day trying not to miss the important stuff. It happens when your heart is breaking. It even happens when are holding your children or your partner and thanking God for letting you know such love.
I dislike change. I hate forks in the road. I would prefer a spork...those half spoon-half fork utensils that would scoop me gently in the right direction. You don't find them often but when you do it is exciting...wow a spork for a change!
The surprising thing is that change does not kill us. Though at times it feels as if it holds the strength and power to do so. What we are feeling is simply growing pains of the spirit. In these periods you grow not in height or stature but in spirit and depth of your compassion for others. Suddenly you are capable of much more. You realize there is more to this journey. You realize there are connections to things that happen-and keep happening- to you, only in a different way and with a different set of characters, but never-the-less it is the same lesson, the same conflict and emotions, the same pain you have experienced before while declaring "Never again!".
True growth is when you begin to see the connection for what it is; one of the lessons in the journey. I recognise these times in life as "the test". It is like the same situation or challenging personality will keep appearing in your life until you learn how to deal with it all differently than you have...until you learn your part in the situation and the underlying lesson. It is an amazing thing when you begin to see patterns in behavior, yours and the people that come into your life, as well as in emotions and the repeat lessons it all seems to bring about. It takes the word coincidence right out of your vocabulary.
Hopefully you also begin to see that after the darkest time in life, a time when doors close and courage is tested, the person who relies on faith rather than fear emerges better off in the end. Life is a series of lessons, growth and yes, tests of that growth. It is important to remember faith in times of struggle, confusion or despair. Much like the economy, it goes in cycles with peaks and valleys and things that reshape us and our lives. Faith is the fuel to keep us going until the next cycle.
Most important I think, is sharing this knowledge of having faith with our children. What better thing to give them than faith? We teach them everything we can to help them in life. We shape their personality and behavior and provide the best education we can afford. So does it make any sense to leave life's trial and lessons to a simple, "Life sucks, then you die" attitude? The best thing is to lead by example. Do not hide your challenges. Do not hide your growth. Never hide your faith.
Imagine if we could plant the seed of spiritual growth in our children from a young age. They are closer to God and spirit than we as adults can ever hope to be. They stand a chance at being more evolved in spirit if they are encouraged to look at difficult times as just another lesson designed to make them a better, wiser soul.
Over the last several years, I realize I have been evolving, cocooned in my own little world, but changing never-the less. I have studied Reiki. I have prayed and meditated and read everything I could find on spirituality. This is not about "religion". This is about spirit. I have begun to look inward rather than outward for answers to the "why" questions in life.
What I learned, eventually, painfully and with much resistance is how to let go of all that I need not hold onto any longer. There are questions that I will never have the answers to. My past contains layers upon layers of fear, people who have let me down in profound ways, undeserved violence, dishonestly, heart breaking periods of trying to make someone into something they will never be, and perhaps even more painful; "loved ones" who were void of normal emotions, care or compassion. I could sit around and ask why me, why them, why did it repeat with different people. But I learned that the answer was not in the why but in how I dealt with it...or the fact that I allowed it. Its occurrence stopped once I learned the lesson and learned to forgive and let go.
Forgiveness is really a gift to yourself. And if you are still caught up in the "right" to feel hurt, angry and full of resentment, than you have missed the lesson. Expect to be in summer school.
It took me a long time to realize that the "why" answers do not matter. The past is just something to either strengthen you or cripple you in the present. You choose. The choice has always been yours.