We often forget that! Often when something difficult happens, there is a flip side containing blessings of some sort. It might take days, years or even a lifetime to find the blessing that came out of a painful experience, but when we look back, we can typically find it there. The challenges and the learning opportunities often co-exist, and in the end are what create the intricate beauty and complexity that make up who we are. Compassion can be born out of pain. Feeling of togetherness and community might be a side-effect experienced from a loss. Appreciation for life might be born out of a brush with death, etc.
There are times to fully experience sorrow, grief, fear. These are emotions that are human, and as necessary for our emotional health as their opposites. To allow them in and allow the experience can be a crucial step towards healing; to just allow it to be so – and to allow it to stop us in our tracks for the time being.
When the healing is underway, it is likewise important to also understand that the difficult emotions do not define us. Just because we experienced them, they are not us. We experienced grief, but we are not grief, and do not have to see ourselves as victims. We experienced fear, but we do not have to be paralyzed, etc.
What matters is what we take it to mean. So many times we allow the difficult and painful experiences to define who we are. We cower in shame, we hide in self-pity, we explain away why we are not capable. When this becomes a repeated pattern for how we conduct the business of living our life – it defines us. We become weighed down by shame, guilt, feeling of low self-esteem.
How we allow our old thought and reaction patterns to inform our actions is ultimately of utmost importance. It is possible to learn, to various degrees, how to allow a new outlook, a new understanding, or a new commitment to re-frame and re-discover who we really are at our core. At our core we are all powerful, flexible, passionate and wise. When we learn to strip away what Don Miguel Ruiz calls our “domesticated layers” (all the “shoulds”, “have to’s”, assumptions and limiting beliefs) we have accumulated through our lives and that might not serve us anymore, we can contact this inner core of strength and wisdom. It is also where we can start to hear the dialogue between this inner knowledge and the outer/spiritual guidance more clearly.
And this is where the magic starts to happen and our lives feel lighter and easier to live – no matter what happens to us. Because once we learn how to access this inner core and outer guidance on a regular basis, we are also able to move through the difficult things that happens in our lives with grace. Like a downhill slalom race, we move in and out of the curves and the obstacles. We do not just sit down and sink in up to over our heads – at least not permanently! The flags and obstacles are seen as markers for our journey and we do not let them stop us or hinder our forward motion. This way, when we do fall from time to time, we reassess the curve and get back up and keep on moving. We love the left turns as much as the right turns.What matters is simply how we manage to move through them, allowing them to shape our path in the most intricate and beautiful pattern.
Here’s to happy skiing! Between B.S. and Blessings with Grace!