Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Do you want to be right – or be happy?

By Hilda Carroll

Sometimes life really sucks. And other times it's just not too great, or could be better. But that is absolutely no reason to despair. Really! Whether or not you are in a place right now where you can accept this, the truth is that there's always an opportunity in every challenging experience to learn and grow. And it's always in our best interests to actively seek that lesson. What a waste to go through a rough patch and take nothing out of it that will help carry you onwards and upwards in the present and future.

And how do we do seek that lesson? By asking ourselves "what is this here to teach me?" And by asking more than once. Because the more you ask yourself, the deeper your enquiry goes, and the more you learn. The answers may not come to you straight away, in fact they probably won't. And there could be many layers of lessons for you that come through bit by bit. But the more open you are to learning them, the quicker they will come.

Your answers may come to you through something you read, something someone says to you (maybe even a throw away comment), or the lyrics of a song that is divinely played in your earshot. There will be all sorts of magical coincidences and you'll come across stuff that will resonate deeply with you and stop you in your tracks. We call them light-bulb moments, and if we pay attention to them they can radically alter our path in life.

Life keeps throwing us the same lessons, over and over in different guises, until we finally get them. Do you find yourself wondering on a regular basis why you keep finding yourself with a difficult boss, an abusive partner or selfish friends? If there's a pattern of similar circumstances occurring in your life, look for the common denominator. Please don't be offended by this, as I say it non- judgmentally, but it really is likely to be you. If you can accept this, then all you need to do is ask what do you need to learn about yourself - not other people - to put an end to the cycle.

This is not to pick up a stick to beat yourself with. It is just about increasing your self awareness, so that you can approach life differently going forwards. You and I are a work in progress, and it is never done.

All through our lives we are meant to be learning and growing. And we learn the most from our challenging experiences. During those times, be prepared to accept something uncomfortable about yourself, for when you accept it (and forgive yourself) you can easily move past it. But what you resist persists. If you deny something about yourself, self-righteously insisting the problem lies with others, you are not done with it.

If you allow yourself to be really open to what the true reason is for this difficult experience, you will ultimately discover some kind of fear at the root of it. Once you identify your fear, you can start to let go of it. If you aren't aware of it, you'll continue to carry it around subconsciously. That is an energy you are putting out into the Universe and it will attract more experiences into your life that match that energy.

So, when you catch yourself woefully asking why this is happening to you, stop and change that inquiry into a genuinely curious one. And then start to pay attention to what your intuition is trying to tell you. Pay attention to each and every coincidence you notice. This is how you cross the bridge between knowing a thing intellectually and really, truly getting it. And that "penny dropping" experience is the kind of moment that influences an effortless change in your outlook and behavior, and as a consequence your coping mechanism strengthens.

But even better than that, because you've now got the lesson, the Universe no longer needs to send it to you in different disguises. You become free of it. Free to move on and learn and grow and stretch some more.

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