Any unfortunate event I’ve gone through is something that I feel compelled to make worth my while. After all, it’s taking up valuable time and energy while causing unexpected disruption.
So instead of viewing what I have to deal with by hating or resisting it, seizing the opportunity to improve in some way can at least reward me with some type of gain from the grief and hassle.
Get something out of every painful event. Wisdom, empowerment, new coping skills, new response strategies…enlightenment. Don’t let it become just another bad day.
Once you have learned the lesson from this event, eventually you will get an opportunity to see if you really learned. Perhaps a similar event will occur again, or a situation will test you to see if you would react the same old way.
For example, if you have problems dealing with authority because of not getting along with your parents as a child, then you will inevitably run into someone in a higher position whom you will have a hard time working with. You assume this person must be some kind of tyrant and hard to get along with. But you notice others don’t view this person the same way…why?
Because they don’t need the lesson — you do. They have their own lessons to learn that you may not need as well. However, once you have learned the lesson in dealing with authority, then the next time you encounter someone in authority you have to work with, you will not react the way you used to, but in a new and better way. Any encounter with authority figures will be easier and easier on you, with practice. Once you’ve mastered this, you will have completed the lesson and passed the test. Then, you won’t ever be tested by this again.
Why is it that a gentle, peaceful person never has to learn the lesson of staying away from fights at a bar? It’s because this person does not need this lesson. So once you’ve passed the test, after some practice if necessary, then you’re no longer triggered by the event. You won’t need the lesson anymore. When you’re not triggered, the event has no effect on you. Something that has no effect on you might as well be invisible.
If you do not have a phobia of spiders, you will not notice and react to them as fast as someone with the phobia — the person who still needs the lesson of overcoming the phobia.
This is why lessons that are learned are never repeated. The events become easy to deal with for you and quickly so. And most likely, you will be busy focusing on more difficult lessons because they will take up more of your time and attention.
Say for example, once upon a time, rude people bugged the hell out of you. You learned how to respond to them, and now you don’t even think about them anymore because you’re working on navigating a relationship with a difficult family member. Compared to this person, rude people are a piece of cake!
What are you going through now that might be an opportunity to learn? What is the lesson?
Check out my book The Power of Zero Expectations: 7 Steps to Freedom from Disappointment on Amazon.