I’m a firm believer in the fact that we, in this life, are presented with the same situation – albeit dressed in a variety of costumes – over and over and over and over and over again until we get the message it’s trying to teach us. At which point, we’re set free – and ushered immediately into the arms of another lesson. And that this pattern also happens over and over and over and over again.
The amusing parts of this phenomenon – and I think it must have been designed this way on purpose, are twofold:
1. When the lesson is coming at you – but you aren’t yet ready to learn it – you can’t see it. You don’t recognize it, you don’t say, ‘Wow! There’s a lesson here!’ You’re more likely to raise your hands to heaven and scream, ‘Why the hell is this happening to me!!!’
2. Once you make it through to the other side – meaning you’ve learned your lesson – you can’t see it either. You can’t remember what it was – it’s like it gets absorbed on a cellular level and it’s part of how you operate now. It’s part of you and there is no separation – and therefore, you have no ability to see it. It no longer exists as something distinct or visible.
But there is a moment of pure, unfettered vision. When you’re deep in it, so deep that you’re going over the waterfall, at the cusp, finally ‘getting it’ – the lesson is plain as day. And this new sight isn’t singular. Suddenly, you can see with perfect clarity all of the times that this issue came up and you didn’t get it and it steamrolled you. “Ah HA!” You can finally say.
What’s the straw that breaks the camels break? Why can we all of a sudden see it? After being blind for so long?
I can only guess that it’s because we’re finally ready, we can finally handle it. The trials leading up to this moment were the kneading of the bread, the pumping of the muscles, the waxing of the surfboard – all preparation, all necessary. And all of these past steps are shown to us now, so we can see how far we’ve come.
It’s in this moment of integration, before the lesson is learned and blurs into our M.O., that we receive a fabulous whiff of accomplishment. And then, we tuck it into our heels, and step – a little bit higher and with a bit more bounce – into the next…
Image credit: Etereal9
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Maybe it’s just when we are open to it–when we reach a place of acceptance and stop fighting against it. I’ve learned through this Buddhist practice to call all of the difficult people in my life “gifts” and “teachers.” It can, at times, make me laugh as I say these very words, but it helps me to stay focused on what’s important: what I can learn from any given experience.
That said, sometimes we just need to have a good snot clearing cry or a bang the fists on the wall session (or a good elevator kicking session, in my case). Sometimes that’s what it takes to clear the negative energy out of our system so we can see the lesson that was there all along.
Loved this one.
Amen, sista. Very well put. And timely, indeed — struggling with something this very morning and, after reading your post, realize it’s a perfect lesson/growth opportunity. Now, to bounce onto the next…
Not restricted to women, either. This was the right message at the right time. I hope I remember it when everything clears and I’m on the other side of it!
Ed – of course not restricted to women…or Buddhists or people from Schenectady! I’m an equal opportunity blogger.
Jennifer – I hope the bounce is a smooth one.
Alisa – I love you and your snot clearing.
I often tell my husband when he is going through something and he is trying to pick apart what is happening that maybe he is not meant to know it at that time, but later on it will all make sense to him. Or when his problem repeats I tell him there must be a reason, that he didn’t catch something from the last time around and that he needs to pick up on something else, different or adjusted in order to understand what the message is.