Byron Katie said, “Everything happens for you, not to you. Everything happens at exactly the right moment, neither too soon nor too late.” I believe this is true but it is difficult for most people to accept. Many of us struggle as life happens or we suffer in anticipation of what might happen. If you truly want more joy and less suffering you must let life unfold. You must be patient and trusting that even the worst imaginable situations will bring you new opportunities and growth.
Waiting for life to happen is not easy. Our brains are trained to simulate situations and our attachment to a desired outcome drives impatience and a need for control. The truth is we want what we want when we want it. Any other scenario triggers an emotional disturbance within us.
Imagine a life where you are present. You have let go of thoughts about the past or future and are just along for the ride. You may have a vision, goals, and a plan but you don’t force anything. You just continue to take action on things you know you should be doing. But then BAM! . . . something big hits you . . . you are laid off, get a boss you don’t like, lose a contract, catch your partner cheating, lose a loved one, etc. Life happens. In these situations you do not have to move from joy and momentum to suffering if you have the right mindset. Take a step back, breathe.
Look at what happened and glean some growth out of it. What have you been shown? What have you learned? If you can do this you will maintain the blessed feeling you had before the incident. You may also be guided to make some major shifts in your life. Maybe you really hadn’t been that happy at work and now you find something new that is more aligned with your purpose. Or maybe the relationship you were in caused more pain than joy and this is exactly what was needed.
Personally, I trust God and believe everything in life is guided. For you, you might believe it is the universe that is working to help you or you might not believe in a higher power at all. No matter what the case is I can assure you if you feel like bad stuff always happens to you it will continue to. If you have self-pity or feel sorry for yourself, nothing will ever change. You will continue to attract bad things into your life. You cannot experience presence if you are angry or fearful.
I know there are many victims of atrocious crimes that struggle with this concept. It is complicated and difficult to reach a place of forgiveness or acceptance. Knowing that regardless of what happened you can start a new life and adopt a new mindset in spite of the past will help. Staying paralyzed in pain will not bring you joy. Getting there is a complex process. You may not be able to do it alone. I urge you, if you haven’t, to take the steps needed and reach out to those who can lead you toward deep healing.
Take some time to look back at seasons or situations where at the time they seemed horrific but now look different. Maybe it was a bad breakup that you hated but are now married with two beautiful kids. At the time you may have been depressed but now can’t imagine being any happier. All those situations will be the proof you need to keep focused on your new mindset.
Make a decision to begin seeing life’s happenings differently. Every inconvenient or bad thing that you allow yourself to grow through will start to work in unison to bring you greater joy. Just shifting to finding the goodness in all things will make you feel better. If you let life unfold it will feel so much better than trying to force it to happen. Remaining present – refusing to be stressed out or feel like a victim – will give you more energy and clarity when life happens for you.