Wednesday, September 3, 2014

We Don't Know What Anything is For

Sometimes life just ups and knocks us to the ground.  Most of us have this happen to at least once or twice in life.  One minute we're rocking along, moving forward and the next minute we have lost something or everything that is very dear to us.

I call this the "stripping away" because in it we lose much of what we thought we needed to be okay.  This can be a very painful experience to go through.  Ultimately, however, it becomes a growing experience.  It is through these stripping away times in our lives that we get to see who we really are.  They show us that we are so much more than the things we think we need.
"The seeming mysteries of life with their attendant experiences are, when rightly understood, blessings in disguise, for any experience that causes us to turn more firmly to the One Active Presence, "I AM," God in Action, has served us a wonderful purpose and blessing."--The "I AM" Discourses
A Course in Miracles tells us that we "don't know what anything is for".   When we are faced with circumstances that seem as if they are the annihilation of the self we have worked so hard to create, we must learn to forgive and accept what is happening to us.  We must trust and know that everything we are creating in our lives is for our greater good.  As the Course tells us, these events are not being done TO us, but they are FOR us.

Sometimes a "stripping away" of the old is necessary for the new to create itself.  Disease, divorce, debt, great disappointment and loss all serve a purpose.  Of course, when these things are happening to us, and we are in the midst of the gut-wrenching pain, it is hard to see the silver lining in these clouds.   But it is there and if we forgive and accept, we will ultimately come to know it.

Forgiveness opportunities come in both small and large packages.  The small are so much easier.  Like you, I vastly prefer the small.  However, as I look back on my life, I know that the large forgiveness opportunities are the ones which have led me to become the searcher I am today.  Life is often gently moving me forward in a better direction.  But sometimes I get lost and place too much importance on the wrong things.  This is when the "stripping away" comes in to show me what I have been unwilling to see.  I guess sometimes I just need that swift kick in the pants, the one that knocks me to the ground, writhing and gasping.  I know now that when I ultimately stand again, I will be standing taller and with the greater strength of Spirit coursing within me.

The fastest way to the other side of a "stripping away" is through forgiveness.  Sometimes it can take a great deal of time to recover, perhaps years, but it is always a choice to recover right now, through a total and complete act of forgiveness and acceptance.  For those of us who are unable yet to forgive in full, for whom forgiveness still feels like a bitter spoonful of medicine, we must do what we can and chip away at forgiveness, taking it sip by sip until eventually, we have accomplished it.  For there will be no recovery without it.

Sometimes we are given the task to learn that we can survive the things we think we can't.  If we apply acceptance to these moments in our lives, we can bounce back and not only survive, but thrive.  It is a choice we are given, we can elect to be "stripped away" permanently and become bitter and small, or we can forgive and grow into something even better than we were before this experience.  Happiness is attainable, but not without forgiveness.

By the way, I wrote about my most recent "stripping away" experience in my book, "Forgiveness is the Key to Happiness".  It was a doozy.  If you want to learn what happened to me and how I grew through it, the story starts on page 83 in the chapter titled, "Life Sometimes Tears Us Down".

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