Our Journey Of Self-Discovery
“Whatever happens, happens to you by you, through you; you are the creator, enjoyer and destroyer of all you perceive.” — Nisargadatta Maharaj
Do you believe life happens to you or for you? Take your time to reflect on this because your answer will give you an insight into how you relate to life. Many people are certain life is external to their experience of it. The problem with this is that it takes away our ability to make empowered choices. If we think life is being enacted upon us, we are likely to surrender control and become victims of our circumstances.
Like many others, I was certain life was happening to me until I realised the source of my power was within me. For a long time, it seemed life was out to get me and that my illness and father’s passing resulted from karmic forces I had little control over. I upheld this belief for many years until realising I am the essence of life unfolding through me. In fact, life happens for me, not to me as I once thought. It took years of pain and suffering to come to this realisation. When I look back, it is difficult to comprehend how I assumed otherwise. It is why I sympathise with those who think this way because we are conditioned to believe life is external to us and not within our control.
Can you see how adopting this way of thinking can be of great benefit to you? Victimhood is not an empowering state because we blame circumstances and others for our problems instead of taking charge of the outcomes. Victimhood robs us of our capacity to create choices in line with our greater good. This is the message espoused by author Alex Pattakos who writes in Prisoners of Our Thoughts: Viktor Frankl’s Principles for Discovering Meaning in Life and Work: “When we complain, we disconnect. When we complain, we hold whatever or whoever we’re complaining about as a shield. We therefore perpetuate victimization and helplessness.”
Not all of life is smooth sailing. When we were born into this earth school we didn’t sign up for good times alone but a journey of self-discovery. This means we are likely to experience circumstances that challenge us and compel us to awaken our greatest power. But how can we awaken our greatest power when we are asleep at the wheel of life? Nothing significant arises from the familiar other than boredom and listlessness.
Make Choices That Serve Your Highest Good
“Life is simple. Everything happens for you, not to you. Everything happens at exactly the right moment, neither too soon nor too late. You don’t have to like it… it’s just easier if you do.” — Byron Katie
Mankind has an inherent need to create meaning in his life while realising his purpose and potential. Animals instinctively know their role within the ecosystem of life. It is only mankind that looks for his purpose outside of him when it lies waiting within. If life is to reveal itself through us, we must let go of the storyline that we are external to life. In doing so, we appreciate that every thought and action serves a purpose for our greatest good. I don’t believe there are accidents within a purposeful universe, only the opportunity to align with that which resonates with our deepest self. I must admit that finding our way within this purposeful universe is difficult and why I empathise with those who become lost. Yet, what we perceive as being lost is part of a grander narrative of our life coming together as it should.
Here’s something to consider: What if every wrong turn, every wrong decision, every failed relationship or career choice, still lead you to the life you’re meant to live. How would you feel? Whilst my question may sound like a riddle, life still functions within a container of wrong turns and dead ends, yet it is the outcome that matters. Often, when coaching clients I like to use the metaphor of finding their way out through a maze, analogous to our life’s journey. When entering the maze, we will take wrong turns and yet these are purposeful to help us find the exit. Unless we are looking down on the maze from above, we cannot possibly know the shortest route to the exit, so we make mistakes to get there. And that is the essence of what takes place in our lives: our mistakes help us find our way if we learn from them.
Are you beginning to see how your life can still be purposeful even if it doesn’t look that way? This is something worth considering because knowing you are at the wheel of your life’s journey allows you to make empowered choices aligned with your core values. Even mistakes and their second cousins, setbacks and obstacles serve a purpose within the backdrop of life. The key is to keep moving and become aware of our choices that serve our highest good, instead of being dictated by unconscious beliefs. If we subscribe to the latter, we are no more than automatons having life imposed upon us and wrongly mistaking it for how life should be. As you will come to realise, your life choices will be reflected in your expanded awareness, thus leading you to a life filled with fulfilment and your destiny.