Think of a current problem causing you distress. Imagine it as best you can without getting caught up in the details. Have you given any thought to why this experience is happening? I don’t mean the nit-picky details but the deeper lessons contained within the event? Perhaps you haven’t arrived at that point yet or you are still trying to make sense of it. Every experience, particularly the undesirable ones, come into our lives to teach us valuable lessons and insights about ourselves. We may experience frustration and turmoil because the situation occupies attention in our mind, as we come to terms with it.
What do I mean by having strong roots to withstand the storms of life? It’s said, the tallest oak trees bury their roots deep into the ground to gather nutrients and stability from the external elements. Violent winds and Mother Nature can impose itself on the oak tree where it can topple over. We can take a leaf from Mother Nature (if you’ll pardon the pun) and create strong roots ourselves to weather the storms of life. None of us are immune to the ravages of life. There may be seasons where we experience joy and happiness and then suddenly we are neck-deep in despair and tragedy. Life may seem unfair and unexplainable when months earlier everything was going our way. Have you experienced this before? If so, what were your anchoring mechanisms to overcome it? What lessons or insights did you learn about yourself?
Sometimes, we don’t understand the lessons until months or years later, so it’s difficult to make sense of what is taking place. Other times, the storms blow upon us with great intensity, wreaking havoc and destroying our lives. It may seem like a disruption to our lives where we feel uncertain about the future. It is my experience that trying to explain unfortunate events adds to our pain and misery. I often counsel clients to avoid looking for meaning to their misfortunes but to flip the coin and look for the lessons contained within the experience. Meaning is subjective and depending on our outlook, we may interpret the event negatively or positively. If you asked those close to you, they might have a different explanation of the event. Rather than explain why things happen, it is best to look for the lessons that cultivate our personal growth.
Are you comfortable with the idea that the storms of life needn’t damper our spirit, yet how we interpret it determines how we move forward? Sometimes, it may require revisiting lessons from the past to reinforce our understanding of an event. Sometimes, lessons reappear in different forms until we learn what we need to. It may be frustrating since there is no guide or teacher to tell us when the lesson will appear. We may have to revisit the same experience until we have enough and give up. However, in letting go we may finally learn what we need to. No two journeys are the same since we are all on different timelines, depending on our level of consciousness. For those who are awake and aware, they may realize the lessons sooner than those who are asleep. The more aware of what life is trying to teach us, the less pain and suffering we will endure.
With this in mind, I’d like you to return to the opening question in which I asked you about a current life problem causing you distress. After you finish reading this article, write a list of five lessons the experience is trying to teach you. You may find it difficult at first because your focus will be on the negative aspects of what is taking place. I invite you to push past it because it will help you release your resistance to what is taking place. Once you’ve written five lessons, sit on it for a day or two and place it somewhere you can see it, such as your bathroom medicine cabinet, bedroom mirror or fridge. Continue asking the following question over the coming days: “What does life want me to know about this experience?” Be attentive to what shows up in the form of an impulse, a feeling, images, words or otherwise. Life communicates to us in familiar ways, so pay attention to your surroundings. It is when we create strong roots to withstand the storms of life, that we will learn what we need to about our life’s narrative.