One of the things I love, is serendipity in our daily lives. One of my favourite books, by Deepak Chopra speaks a little about this, titled "Spontaneous Fulfillment of Desire". It discusses how in life there are no coincidences and that once we begin paying attention to these coincidences we start seeing more of them, and also start to understand how the event connects to a greater picture. It is fun and easy to see this apply in daily life when its an uplifting event such as running into an old friend, or receiving an unexpected sum of money for example. This can be a little more difficult to dissect when its stressful, hard and uncomfortable.
I recently spoke with a friend who was diagnosed with a rare form of cancer. Prognosis is excellent, and I admire her tenacity and strength, but wow. What an emotional curveball. There are and will be a ton of lessons in this experience for her, and those around her. Here are a couple that came to mind upon hearing the news:
1. An event is what you make it. Easier said than done, but in challenge is opportunity to show what you're made of. I am a strong believer that true character shows up when we are at our "weakest". When we feel beat down, stressed, and defeated. We can dwell in the unfortunate or we can say "NEXT" and move forward. My friend is a reminder of this and her strength in the situation encourages those around her to be strong too.
2. In the week before I heard the news about my friend, I had been in a few different self critical conversations (as I'm sure all of us can be at times) all around particular superficial attributes. The extra weight gained over summer, the extra baby weight a friend was upset about (and P.S. if you are carrying baby weight give yourself a break! You grew a frigin person! Thats amazing!), how much better shape we were in at 25, comparing where we thought we should be to superficial instagram pics...you know the drill. Unimportant and irrelevant and mostly untrue. This news stopped me in my tracks and made me realize how self absorbed we can be about such unimportant things. We are healthy. We have amazing friendships. We will look back at our 30-something bodies one day and wonder what we were complaining about. Perspective is powerful. Tragedy, crisis and challenge offers a fast-track to see what is truly important in your world.
I'm guessing most people can relate to this in on form or another. The point really is to seek the blessing and lesson in it all. The good, the bad and the ugly. That forms your own light at the end of the tunnel. Whether you have a cancer scare or have chronic neck pain...the lesson is there. It may be as simple as slowing down. Or it can be as big as taking your health more seriously. We may not be able to control an event but we can always control our reaction to it.