“Many of life’s failures are people who did not realize how close they were to success when they gave up.” Thomas Edison
Sometimes it feels like everything is caving in and falling down around you; a black cat hasn’t just crossed your path, he’s camped out in your yard! It’s easy to feel overwhelmed and fall into a fatalistic mentality, or, on the other the hand, to rail against the injustice. Believe me, I know. I’ve had a couple weeks like that myself. It seems as though most people these days have an opinion about my life and how I should live it. In fact, I know this to be true because they are not only willing, but also eager to share it with me, and often.
I was driving across town to an appointment when I got some difficult news regarding my son Joshua’s education. The injustice of the costs a family incurs to support and educate a child with special needs seems unfair to me. It happens to be an area, for good or bad, where when things are unjust, it strikes a nerve. Providing services that help children with their limitations and challenges shouldn’t be more challenging. Astronomical costs make it harder on a family instead of easier to provide the education the child deserves. While I was on the phone receiving this news (hands-free I assure you!) I was pulled over by a policewoman for a minor traffic infraction.
You know when you need to keep going straight, but you’re caught in a right-turn only lane? What’s a woman to do? I’ll tell you. I sped up and cut someone off rather than turning right at the light. I know, I’m sorry. And to top it off, I saw the police car, and did it anyway! I took full responsibility for the infraction, and pleaded with her not to give me the ticket. For some reason this infuriated the policewoman even more, and she proceeded to lecture me on the very dangerous obstruction hanging from my rearview mirror, and threatened to write me a bigger ticket. I know… you cannot possibly believe that I have giant furry dice hanging in my car, and you’re right. I don’t. The major, and very dangerous visual obstruction is a tiny necklace that my 10-year-old daughter made for me when she was in first grade. It’s been hanging up there for 4 years.
When I got home that afternoon, traffic fine in hand, I noticed two things that were out of the ordinary. Hanging above the entrance of my house, the chandelier had separated from the ceiling and was dangling from the electrical chords. When I looked out the window a few minutes later, I noticed a swarm of bees had settled in a tree in my front yard. I actually only noticed them because a tall truck had just driven past and had brushed against the leaves of the tree, and their hive was now abuzz with activity. Oh, and I’m slightly hormonal because I’m 9 months pregnant.
In that moment I could have chosen to have a good cry; instead I chose to have a good laugh and take it as a sign from the Creator reminding me that I don’t have enough certainty in the process. I get the messages – I know everything that is happening is part of a bigger picture, and that the meanings are important and far beyond what we can see in the physical world. The story of the building of the Tabernacle springs to mind. Building the tabernacle was not an easy process, it was arduous, and the Israelites kept complaining to Moses and Aaron, worrying whether their efforts were all a waste of time.
Many of us, if not all of us, at some point in our lives go through a difficult time – some more than others. This makes sense to us, as most of us are aware that the difficulties we encounter are part of life’s process. But it doesn’t make sense that when the moment comes to reveal the Light of all of our efforts, nothing happens. In fact, it just gets more challenging. In reality, this is when people usually decide to throw in the towel, but it’s actually at this crucial moment when we have to choose to keep pushing on.
When nothing happened at the Tabernacle, Moses and Aaron could have decided to give up. But because they pushed on, and put their faith and trust in the Creator, everything came to light, and all that was promised was revealed. It’s like giving birth to a child. It takes you nine months to grow your baby, and ready your body and mind for the moment of labor. The time comes. You push and nothing happens. You push again and again, but when do you stop? You don’t, because in a typical delivery it’s not an option – the baby needs to come out. And you never really know when the last push will reveal the creation that was growing inside.
In life, just when we think the tough times are behind us, *Bam* another hurdle pops out of nowhere! We question, “Why is this happening?! When will this stop?!” We think we know when it should end. The question we should really be asking is what do I need to learn from this “challenge”? What is the message for me? But we often don’t think to ask these questions, or alter our consciousness from one of a victim to one that is like the Creator, unless we elevate our vision and know that there is a greater design at work. The challenge here is that we lack clarity of vision. The truth is we never know when the final push will reveal the greatest blessing, and because we never know when the next effort will elevate us, we have to keep on pushing. The more clarity we have of the bigger picture, the closer we are to attaining true happiness, freedom from fear, stress, and sadness, because we align ourselves with the Creator’s plan. Trust the process ahead, no matter how stark or bleak it seems.
Spiritually, we know that the more a person succumbs to uncertainty, the more they open themselves up to more uncertainty and chaos. When we lose perspective, worry, start getting worked up, and find ourselves asking ‘why is this happening to me?’ we are opening the door wider for more negative things. Once that door is open, it’s difficult to close it. We can grow our certainty and reduce our stress by reminding ourselves that, “I might not see it, but I know a greater picture exists and thereby I can accept what is happening in my current situation.” In fact, I welcome it because there is an opportunity to gain clarity if I allow the process, let the storm pass, and the clouds clear.
Certainty is accepting the idea that life’s process is really the purpose. All that we experience—even if it comes in the form of chaos or something we don’t want—is ultimately for our greatest good and will bring us closer to our true potential. If we practice this certainty, then we can come to a point where even tremendous challenges don’t affect us. I am practicing my certainty, but also hoping I don’t receive any more messages this week – my inbox is a bit full! As for the minor annoyances, they can “buzz” off.
THOUGHT INTO ACTION
Practice YOUR certainty. In times of stress or doubt, remind yourself that there is a bigger picture. Let these messages guide you along the way. What messages are you getting? Share them with me in the comment section.