There Is Always Meaning To Be Found - Especially In The Struggle

I do have my days, of course….. I can be dark and gloomy, but the darkness is generally short-lived, and l find a way to clear it away. Sometimes it’s easy - sometimes not so - but I’ve always seemed to have a knack at finding my way out of the darkness. Maybe it’s my connection with the Universe. I am not what you would consider a religious person, but I have a very strong spiritual practice, and one that I am quite comfortable with. I have a strong belief that the “Universe has my back”, and I believe that staying connected to the Universe (God, the Divine, or whatever you have named the higher power) through meditation, yoga practice and reflection - is really important and helps to make life more meaningful. Though I was brought up Catholic, I do feel more aligned with Buddhist and Hindu philosophies, and that seems to be what sustains me when life tries to overwhelm me. In general though, I embrace all regions, feeling that everyone has the right to believe in whatever resonates with them and makes them feel whole. Wouldn’t it be nice if the whole world shared that philosophy? What a different world we would live in.

But, I digress…..let me get back to my feelings about the meaning behind the struggle. Wouldn’t life be absurd if there was no meaning and purpose behind it all? My feeling is that our time here on earth is a learning experience, I like to call it the “University of Life”.

Carolyn Myss describes it well in her book “Sacred Contracts:Awakening Your Divine Potential”.

She talks about how the challenges that we are given during our lifetime are opportunities for growth, and that, in fact, we signed up for these very challenges. It’s sort of like registering for classes in school. What is it that you feel that you need to learn in order to take you where you need to go? Before we are born, our souls agree to learn specific lessons in life. We get involved with different people and find ourselves in different situations in order to fulfill our desire to learn the lessons that we signed up for. How we handle all of that is the measure of our growth and progress. If our report card gives us passing grades, then we achieved our goal and we are through -- we do not have to incarnate into another life experience when this one is over. However, if we don’t get passing grades, we have to repeat -- we will reincarnate and our soul will be given another opportunity to attend the University of Life. This cycle repeats over and over again until we get it right. For some of us, this could be our very first time….fresh out of the box. Others may have been here many times ….”old souls”, so to speak.

In Hinduism, the belief is that when one learns all of the required lessons and becomes fully enlightened, they achieve “Moksha”, liberation from the endless cycle of death and rebirth. Buddhists believe that rebirth depends on “karma”, which is the Sanskrit word for deed or action. It is an accumulation of good and bad deeds done over this life and previous lives -- it is basically the “what goes around comes around” philosophy. Either way, once you’ve done it right, once you’ve mastered kindness, compassion, patience, forgiveness and unconditional love, you're on your way to a passing grade … a good report card … graduation! When you graduate, your soul can move on and just kick back and have a peaceful existence with no need for a repeat performance.

With that in mind, doesn’t it make it a little easier to endure both the joys and sorrows that life presents? The challenges are a gift ….we signed up for them. Now I can say, wholeheartedly, that I can’t even begin to imagine signing up for some of the challenges that have come my way, and I’ll bet that you can’t either. But I like to believe that this is in fact, the case. It’s so much easier to find the beauty, the joy, and the bliss in this life experience when we realize that the challenges hold meaningful, valuable lessons. So I guess we should try to remember next time around to be careful what we ask for :-)

Enjoy the journey!