Live your best life …
‘Bad’ things do happen to ‘good’ people. We could all quote an example or two. Most of us are probably familiar with the saying, ‘ Into each life a little rain must fall’. Whilst we agree reluctantly, our minds search for an explanation because there seems to be something unjust about this saying. We are taught to believe that being good produces positive results so it is puzzling when things go awry. What is going on?
A story from Eckhart Tolle’s book, A New Earth, Awakening to your Life’s Purpose, illustrates this situation.
A wise man won an expensive car in a lottery. His family and friends were very happy for him and came to celebrate. ” Isn’t it great!” they said. “You are so lucky.” The man smiled and said, ” Maybe.”
He enjoyed driving his new car until a drunken driver crashed into him…and he ended up in hospital with multiple injuries. His family and friends came to see him and said, ” How very unfortunate. ” The man smiled and said, ” Maybe.”
While he was still in hospital, there was a landslide and his house fell into the sea. Again, his family came and said, ” Weren’t you lucky to be in hospital.” And again , the man said, ” Maybe.”
The wise man’s ‘maybe’ signifies a refusal to judge anything that happens. He knew that often it is impossible for the mind to understand what place or purpose a seemingly random event has in the ‘tapestry of the whole.’
Tolle claims that “there are no random events nor are there events or things that exist by and for themselves in isolation. The causes of even the smallest event are….connected with the whole in incomprehensible ways.”
Tolle maintains that the cosmos is not chaotic but that the human mind finds it difficult to comprehend this type of order. Sometimes, we do get a glimpse. Recently, a young boy was killed by his father after sports practice. The news reports bemoaned ‘a wasted life and unfulfilled potential.’ Since the death, his mother has spoken publically about domestic violence and the plight of families living in those circumstances. Her bravery has brought the police and the legislators together and will change how AVO’s ( Apprehended Violence Orders) are implemented in the future.
Why can’t we grasp this ‘cosmic order?‘ Tolle’s explanation points to the fact that most of us have a dysfunctional relationship with the present moment or the Now. We want each moment to be shaped to our desires and specifications (which is not likely to happen.) We cope with this by either living in the past or projecting ourselves into the future. ” I’ll be happier when the warm weather comes; when Christmas is done; when Aunty Mary goes home etc.” Tolle insists that Life is the stuff that is happening NOW and by pushing it aside or to the future, we are effectively refusing to have a relationship with it. He suggests that we need to learn to befriend every moment ( to the best of our ability) and welcome it no matter what disguise it takes. Have you noticed the creativity of some of those disguises!??? I have been caught, time and time again. The attitudinal shift being suggested is a huge challenge. It encourages us to stop resisting what is while keeping our eye on our goal.
According to Byron Katie ( A Thousand Names for Joy) when people believe their thoughts, they divide reality into opposites; this is good; this is bad; this is delightful; this is a tragedy; I love this experience; I will never get over this event. To a clear mind, a mind that questions its thoughts, everything in the world is beautiful in its own way. Everything has its own value and purpose.
No one experiences sorrow without some glimmers of joy or joy without some experience of sorrow. Our problem is that we do not see these experiences as two sides of the same coin. In other words, we can’t have one without the other. There are no one sided coins but we haven’t quite grasped that fact. If we are to believe metaphysicians, cosmic order prevails whether we are aware of it or not. Accepting this premise helps us get through the rough times with dignity and grace.
Be kind to yourself