Sunday, June 30, 2019

Life’s Unending Exam

We come into this world and like it or not, we are instantly enrolled in the school of life where each day, each moment in time, we are required to complete a variety of exams to get to the next level.  At the start of this journey, many of us believed that all learning was confined to a classroom and once we graduated from this institution, we were finished with school.  No more teachers, no more books, no more lessons…Wrong!  It was only when we got into ‘real world’ that many of us soon discovered that the teachers morphed into bosses, colleagues and relatives.  Sometimes it was even people you don’t know or situations you could never have foreseen.  The formal classroom just became life and what you learned in the educational system may have helped with your career but it certainly didn’t prepare you for navigating through life’s trials and tribulations.  

Often, we place our experiences into categories.  There are experiences that feel good and there are unwanted experiences that are filled with pain and suffering.  When the lessons are pleasurable, we don’t really see it as either a lesson or experience.  We cruise along not thinking of the experience, the moments.  We get lost in the show.   We believe that life will continue along the same easy-breezy frequency.  A frequency that often leaves us living a robotic existence, unaware of our disconnection from life until easy-breezy slides down the mountainside into the valley of despair.  The gentle breeze on the other side of the mountain has now turned to raging winds and the school of hard knocks has jumped in to throw you a series of life’s hardballs in rapid fire succession leaving you stunned, overwhelmed.

During these unwanted experiences, we often find ourselves questioning our existence with phrases such as:  why me? or what did I do to deserve this?  In some instances, the answer is nothing. You have done nothing wrong or right.  You have to understand that you are happening on this Planet Earth as a part of everything else and nothing is moving in isolation.  Sometimes you are in the wrong place at the wrong time.  Sometimes it is a lesson sent to assist you developing your character.  In others instances, somewhere you will discover that your thoughts and thinking created the situation.  In any experience, the ultimate exam question is: did you learn the lesson?

Irrespective of what lesson is going on in your life, how you go through your existence here on Planet Earth is up to you.  The pain and suffering you experience in your journey are not optional.  They are a part of life and everyone goes through some form of grief and pain.  You are not the only person.  What is optional is the misery you associate with the experience.  You can wallow in the experience but this behaviour will only mean that you linger longer in the unpleasant experiences of life.  Oh, the actors can change but the themes and dramas are always the same.  It’s the same old classroom until you understand the lesson.  If, however, you see the experiences as something to learn and grow from, and use your intelligence to work for you instead of against you, your transition through the experience will be easier.  It all starts with your thinking. 

Your thoughts play an important role in shaping your imagination and creating the state of being you want to be in.  When we are in the middle of a crappy situation we often take up a negative dialogue in our head.  In some ways we think we are solving the situation by creating all these negative scenarios and dramas.  Instead we never realize that a negative dialogue creates a negative outcome.  Think about it.  How would you judge your thoughts right now?  Are you hopeful? Loving? Pissed Off? Angry? Trusting? Kind? Hateful?  What dialogue is running in your head?  If your thoughts are rehashing the past events of your life, or creating negative dramas through worry, doubt or fear you are using your imagination for the negative.  In doing this you are creating a state of being that is detrimental to your wellbeing.  You can’t learn the lesson and grow if you are wallowing in a negative vibration.  To change it, you have to first change your thoughts because you cannot get to a better feeling with lousy thinking.

Changing your thoughts requires work.  It requires you to be vigilant.  Hear a negative thought; change the story.  Not only do you have to be cognizant of the dialogues going on the inside, you also have to police the thoughts coming to you from the outside.   You are the authority of your thinking and you have to take back your control.  The thoughts written on your mind by other people may need to be deleted.  Learn to shut down outside opinions and start shifting your thinking.  Any story that is creating a negative feeling is not worth repeating over and over again.   

When we were children we lived a life of mind-sight.  We saw the tree and we climbed it.  We never rationalized the challenge.  Much to the chagrin of our parents, we just did it.  In mind-sight thinking, we saw a world of possibilities.  As we got older we shifted to eyesight.  We looked at the challenges and came up with a multitude of reasons why it couldn’t be done.   Our journey to this Planet Earth never came with a promise of smooth sailing.  Adversity in your life is part of the path.  You have a choice about the thoughts that dwell in your mind and you have a choice about how you go through an experience.  See the possibilities.  Rise to the challenge and never look back.

Wishing you a day of many pleasant surprises.

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