“Nothing is completely wrong; even a broken clock is right twice a day.” — Paulo Coelho
Throughout the ages wisemen, saints, and sages have said: “The answers we are looking for will arrive at the right time and not a moment sooner.” Do you believe this is true? I don’t know about you, but there are times — when I am enmeshed in the crisis of the moment — I want the answer and I want it NOW — especially when the crocodiles are nipping at my heels. If you can relate, read on!
The process of life is a self-sustaining system that functions within the framework of order and chaos. What we observe as chaos, is part of universal order just as the big bang created the cosmos. To highlight this idea, think of a situation in which you tried to control the outcome which turned against what you were hoping for? The point worth emphasising is, when you try to force something it never works out as planned, right? There are many schools of thought why this is so, depending on whom you speak to. Some say the universe comprises the language of mathematics while spiritual believers say the universe contains universal laws we must abide by. Irrespective of which school of thought you subscribe to, the common theme is: life knows what it’s doing irrespective of whether we try to force or control it. Actually, wishing life to be a certain way is like trying to push a boulder up a hill: it is futile because of the weight of the rock. However, if you push the boulder downhill, it is easier given you are working with the laws of gravity.
I’m drawn to the message by psychotherapist and author David Richo who explains in The Five Things We Cannot Change: And the Happiness We Find by Embracing Them how worrying about outcomes holds us back from achieving inner peace: “We do not let go of control; we let go of the belief that we have control. The rest is grace. The givens of life are the tools the universe provides for that lesson. Worry is directly related to control. It seems that we worry about the future, finances, relationships, jobs, and all the other unpredictables in our lives. Actually, there is only one worry: that of not being in full control of what will happen.”
We don’t always need to have it all figured out since the answers are not there for us to see sometimes. What I mean is, life can be compared to a giant jigsaw puzzle working behind-the-scenes in such a way so the big picture comes together of its own time. Often what we experience is based on first impressions and is a missing piece of the puzzle still moving into place. Being impatient creatures, we often jump to conclusions too early. Where in actual fact, the process is still unfolding and will come together if we suspend our judgement of what is taking place.
“You don’t get explanations in real life. You just get moments that are absolutely, utterly, inexplicably odd.” — Neil Gaiman
Considering this, do you recall a recent experience that looked unpleasant initially, yet turned out to be a blessing in disguise? I remember an experience many years ago where I was constantly receiving traffic infringements for speeding. Whilst it caused distress, I realised I was always in a hurry to get from one point to another because of the hectic schedule I was keeping. I call it a wakeup call from the universe, inviting me to slow down instead of risk being involved in a motor vehicle accident and cause harm to myself and others. Whilst this incident happened long ago, I now appreciate the lesson and have learned to slow down to the speed of life. I may not have gained the lesson had I not been given several speeding infringements.
Similarly, what areas of your life are you resisting? What are you trying to control? Could there be another way? What lessons are contained within the experiences and are you willing to notice them? Whichever way you look at it, there is good news and bad news having it all figured out. The good news is: there is nothing to figure out because there will always be something to fill its place and you may chase your tail trying to control reality. The bad news is, trying to control reality is a game you will seldom win because as author Byron Katie says in Loving What Is: Four Questions That Can Change Your Life: “I am a lover of what is, not because I’m a spiritual person, but because it hurts when I argue with reality.”
Opposing life is a contest we’re bound to lose since reality will triumph each time. This doesn’t mean we must surrender, but learn to co-create with the forces of life. As the adage goes: “When life gives you lemons, make lemonade.” Working with the forces of life helps us realise, it is pointless trying to have it all figured out because everything has a way of developing as it should irrespective of our timeline. Moreover, we learn to let go of frustration, resistance and displeasure that life is working against us, when in fact life really doesn’t care because it is doing its job regardless and it’s just easier if we cooperate instead of oppose it. Either way the choices up to us, so choose consciously and wisely.
Originally published at medium.com