Updated: Feb 14, 2019
How do we respond when things don't go as we want
Life rarely does what we think it should. This is something we all know; yet, somehow it continues to both surprise and annoy us! It is as if, in our heart of hearts, we really believe that life should do exactly what we expect and that if we could just find the magic way to make this happen then everything will unfold perfectly.
But here is the problem: Life unfolding perfectly and Life unfolding as we think it should are not the same thing - not by a long way.
The teachings of our sages and mystics all concur: Life is infinitely loving and perfect; everything we could wish for is here for us.
So, something about our expectations, our inner script for our lives, our sense of entitlement, our discomfort with suffering and ‘unpleasantness’, and the constant need for everything to go smoothly externally in order for us to feel good internally, gets in the way. We are not experiencing perfection - we are experiencing problems.
You can see this arise in any given moment. Watch and you may find yourself habitually tensing under a time pressure, a hint of conflict, a derogatory comment from someone, a feeling of malaise in the body, the sense of being under too many demands, the belief that you have been let down. The list goes on. But if all is actually perfect as it is, then what time pressure is there, what conflict exists, who lets us down? These are beliefs we are operating from. We are not yet seeing Perfection where it exists.
When Possibility Happens
In that moment when life doesn’t do what we want it to or think it should (in order for us to feel safe, loved, happy . . . ) there is an opening. A moment of life that falls outwith ‘my’ plans and ‘my’ control reveals itself.
Space appears. The unexpected arrives. Life starts happening, right now, right in front of our eyes. And with it comes an opportunity, a new path that is totally unscripted.
Now, rather than seeing a friend, you have an afternoon to yourself; now rather than giving a talk, you are in a traffic jam; now rather than someone being angry with you, they are being loving and understanding; now rather than running a marathon, you are nursing an injury. The other has emerged. The real, living, unexpected, spontaneity of life has emerged. What will you do with this unscripted moment? What of its offerings will you open to? What will you allow in? How quickly can you adapt, letting go of your own plans in order to embrace What Is? What spiritual gifts may arise if you surrender and accept?
Feelings of disappointment, let down and indignation, of duty and obligation, of resentment and anger, are all part of the package that we make up on when we say life has to be 'just so', I need to be treated just so, things have to unfold just so.
But we simply cannot dictate such terms to life. It will endlessly bubble up and overthrow any such attempts. It will endlessly disrupt. It will offer chaos, spontaneity and aliveness whenever we try to control and pin it down. It will constantly show us that we can no more hold back a river than expect a castle built of sand to endure: there are forces beyond us that we must either surrender to and accept or expend our life’s energy resisting.
Our Innate Super Powers
We all know what happens when we push at life and try to make it do what we want it to. And we know what happens when we surrender and yield to its unexpectedness. When we attend life as it is we enter into a 'contract of grace': aligned to our reality rather than pulling against it, it unfolds before us and for us. Recently, having broken down in my car when I was urgently needed back at home, I had a moment of feeling that what happened next was entirely in the hands of the gods. I felt temporarily stunned by my helpless state. The rescue service could not get to me for 3 hours or possibly longer.Then I realised I nevertheless had a super power: I could choose how I responded to what life had given me. I could stress myself out or I could soften into and trust whatever happened next. And what happened next was very quick, very beautiful and very kind. I rang a nearby garage and two busy men nevertheless took time out to come to my aid. Against all odds, they had me back on the road in minutes, at no charge, despite a huge hunk of metal having fallen off the bottom of my car. One could almost say it was perfect. . .
In experiences like this, we are reminded that even when we feel helpless we have a choice. How powerful is the instinct to choose fear! But how gentle is the reality that unfolds when we don't.
Our inner state directly and instantly affects our outer circumstances and we can choose our state. As conscious beings this is a power we have but do not always yield.
How do we see beyond the mind’s drama and stay with the deep peace of spiritual reality that sees all things as loving opportunities? Below, I describe some of the flower essences that I feel enhance our connection to our innate super powers: our courage, our truth-speaking, our connection to Spirit, our ability to see clearly, and our ability to stay vulnerable and open rather than shutting down in defensiveness. They speak of loving what is rather than getting stuck in imaginings and projections; of staying as open and present to truth as you can in the moment; of softening into your heart and your centre over and over again; of recognising that another person is not attacking or harming you when things go wrong between you; and of trusting, and even enjoying, the adventure that is unfolding.
Life is utterly and completely spontaneous. What is that famous quote? Life is what happens when we are busy making other plans. We come across the spontaneity of Life all the time in our daily lives; and resisting it, feeling frustrated with it, and seeing this as somehow ‘wrong’ sets us up for a lot of suffering. The rightness of Life is inherent. Surely, it is our perception of something being wrong that we need to begin to question . . . In that moment of awareness, we can choose again.
Essences to Support our Super Powers
Super Power 1: Owning Your Truth
For standing in your absolute truth, articulating this clearly and lovingly to others, and being able to discern the complexities of a situation without over-simplifying things
Super Power 2: Courageous and Clear
For spiritual protection and grounding; deep and real centring in the heart; clarity about your way ahead
Super Power 3: Seeing Clearly
Seeing your fear response for what it is and letting go of the need to go into melodrama and stress; releasing the mind’s tendency to go over and over a situation
Super Power 4: Letting Go
For setting down heavy emotional burdens; letting go and letting be; being fully present. Feeling light and free
Super Power 5: Empowerment Trio
For feeling empowered and ready to get on and be all that you can be; for standing in your full power and potency