meaningofstrife

Seeing the best in life's challenges

It’s All a Set-Up!!

The situation you are in is not by chance.  You have been set up.  It’s all part of a well thought-out plan.

Those challenges that most push your buttons?  On purpose.  Those people that drive you crazy?  Planted right in front of you.  The hazards, pitfalls, temptations, carrots on the end of the stick, bright shiny objects just out of reach?  Why are you surprised?

All some sinister plan?  Well, why would you assume the worst?  If you assume that life is in opposition to your greater good, meant to drag you down, something you will never get “right”, well that sounds like a set-up to fail.  Deep down, is that what you really believe?  If so, sounds pretty hopeless to me.  Why do you even try?

Or do you believe that God is good, that life has purpose, that in essence, you are beautiful and good and perfect and loved?

Which is it?

How would you act if you were convinced that your life is perfectly planned for you, by you, with great care and love?  What if you knew that the angels have your back?  That it is impossible to fail?

Would you stop worrying about making mistakes, and start to appreciate the beauty and intricacy of the plan?  Would you be more likely to see the synchronicities?  Would you appreciate the new perspectives you gain from the experiences?  Would you become more wise?

(To be fair, I’m not including the “random” scenario – everything happens by chance, there is no Creator, it’s all just a random happenstance with no meaning.  I know some people believe this.  I just took too much science and learned about entropy.  Chance leads to chaos, not order.  The random theory just makes no sense to me, so I tend not to give it any attention.  That’s just me.  If you are a believer in the random theory, disregard this whole thing.  I would just ask one question:  If you really believe in the random scenario, why do you even care?  Caring seems inconsistent with the randomness, to me.)

No one else can convince you what to believe.  Oh, they can try.  They can give forceful opinions.  They can preach from the pulpit.  They can write about it.  But what you truly believe inside, cannot be forced.  Only you can examine it, think about it, know what it is that you believe in your heart.  And if you don’t have any interest in the question, no one can make you think about it either!!

But I wonder —  even if a person doesn’t consciously think about it, are they still operating under one of these beliefs?  Is there a default setting deep inside?

I don’t think anyone would disagree, that a person would act differently depending on how they see the world.  If it’s all a sinister plan and there is no hope, a person would be more self-protective, more suspicious, and more competitive.  If a person believed that all is for the greater good, they would tend to be more open, trusting, giving, and hopeful.  Am I wrong here?

So my next question is, which belief system results in a “better” world?  If every single person chose one way or the other, what would be the result?

Just to make it more interesting, what would happen if every single person except one thought the world was sinister?  The world would operate in a competitive manner, everyone would be in it for themselves, people would be grabbing what they could get without a thought about how their actions affected others.  The one person with a different view would get crushed.  Everyone else would take advantage of that person, and they wouldn’t last long.  They would probably lose hope.

Now think about the opposite scenario.  Every person except one knows they are loved and trusts the process.  They give others the benefit of the doubt.  They spend time to think about what they have learned from their experiences.  They have hope.  The one insecure, scared, competitive person doesn’t trust anyone.  They take advantage whenever they can.  And what happens?  Others continue to love them anyway.  They have compassion and understand that this person is only acting according to their beliefs.  How long do you think it would be before this person is able to relax and trust that all will be well?

So, what if you lived in the first world, the sinister one?  And what if, over time, more and more people came to see life from the opposite perspective?  What if, despite past history and disappointments and pain, they came to the conclusion that there is purpose and that we all are, deep down, good and lovable?

Many people would still be competitive and focused on survival of the fittest.  They would take advantage.  The trusting people would have to remain pretty darn strong to keep loving and giving the benefit of the doubt and believing it would all work out.  The trusting people would have a hard time holding on to their beliefs.  The competitive people would scoff at them and tell about their “real world.”  But slowly, one by one, those competitive people would experience the love, compassion and forgiveness of the trusting people.  Even just one act of caring from a converted survivor would feed the Hope that everyone could one day have compassion and respect for others.

Now THAT’S an interesting set-up….

different perspective

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The Answers to Everything

We are spiritual beings.  We are souls, temporarily in a body here on Earth.  We have free will to use our time here in whatever way we wish.  We can remain in reactive mode, live our life under the default settings, let life “happen to us”, maybe never even consider the purpose of it all, and that’s just fine.

We also have the option of choosing to be proactive, to examine our choices along the way, to consider the implications of our choices, to try to find our purpose in being here.  We can work to understand the deeper meaning of it all. Take it to the next level.

Whatever you choose is right for you.  Be happy with your choice!  Enjoy your life for what it is!

Wait…..you’re not happy?  You’re frustrated?  Something’s missing?  Life isn’t going the way you want it to? You can’t shake this feeling that there’s something more?  Can’t shake the loneliness?  Well, you have a choice – you can maintain the status quo and just live with it, or you can try to figure it out, to FIND THE ANSWERS.

Don’t know where to start?

Well, the most important thing you need to know is that YOU are the only one who can figure it all out FOR YOU.  There’s no formula, no class you can take, no book you can read, no list of rules you can follow, no guru that will give you all the answers.  It’s a lot of work, and that may sound intimidating.  But nothing worth doing is easy, right?

Now wait a minute, you say, I’ve seen your blog, and you keep writing about books and articles you’ve read, you have all these opinions, what’s all that about?

Well, no one can tell you THE ANSWER, but there are lots of hints out there, there is lots of wisdom.  It comes from the Bible, it comes from the many wise souls who have come before us, we can find it in our friends and family, we can see it in nature.  Wisdom and guidance is EVERYWHERE.  I’m a researcher at heart, and I love digging for wisdom.  People can help and support each other in this process, but they can’t determine someone’s answers for them.  By sharing my process, my thoughts, how I see my answer, MAYBE someone else is supported in their own quest.  Maybe not.

It doesn’t matter what you call it:  becoming a better person, becoming enlightened, ascension, spiritual maturity, being born again, transformation, raising your vibration, higher consciousness.  All these terms describe the quest.  It’s not a task to be completed, it’s a process.

So, from my perspective, here are some steps that seem to be universal, things to consider, helpful hints, in no particular order.  As always, if they seem useful to you, great!  If not, skip to the next one.  If you find this stuff helpful, feel free to share with others!

Become the Observer  Whenever you encounter a situation, step back and pretend you’re a fly on the wall.  You might have to wait until later, when you’re alone, but run the situation through your head as if you were not involved.  Pretend that everyone is just an actor in a play, and watch.  Let go of the feelings, the expectations, the preconceived notions, the judgments, and just OBSERVE.  This is an exercise that helps you gain a perspective.  Get curious.  Be interested without an agenda.  Observe yourself – how did you feel, how did you react, what pushed your buttons?  What judgments did you make, what expectations did you have?

Abandon Survival Mode  Dig down and figure out what your basic Intent is.  Is it to take care of Number One?  Survival of the fittest?  Or is your primary interest the well-being of all, the greater good?  Do you believe in win-win solutions?

Recognize and Manage your Ego  Understand that your ego is useful.  It keeps you safe; it’s a survival mechanism.  It watches out for Number One.  But your ego likes to have control.  It can get you in trouble if you’re not careful.  It needs to be understood and managed.

Conquer Fear  What are you afraid of?  Fear is another survival mechanism.  The right kind of fear keeps us safe.  But it’s another thing that can take over and get out of control.  And it may also be the biggest obstacle to moving forward.  Don’t let the fear of doing something wrong keep you from TRYING.

Question Everything  There is nothing wrong with questioning everything.  It’s why we have a brain.  It’s a thought process that helps us understand things better.  Any time you are told that something should not be questioned, a big red flag should go up in your head.  If something is TRUE, then any questioning will only lead back to that truth anyway, right?  What are you afraid of?  While we’re at it, do you judge others who consider ideas that are outside of your box?  Why do you care?

Recognize Drama  Do you love drama?  Drama is fed by the ego and by fear.  It’s seductive.  Drama can keep you very busy if you let it.  We all know people that create and thrive on drama.  Just remember that participating in drama is your choice.

Cultivate Faith  The religions of the world all focus on a Creator that is benevolent and loving.  Do you believe this to be the case or not?  Be honest with yourself – do you act as if you have faith that things will work out, or are you always worried?  Do you really believe in a God that punishes?  Does this feel right in your gut?

Stop Judging  How much time do you spend playing the Blame Game?  Besides the fact that the Bible says don’t judge, spending your time judging doesn’t change what’s been done.  Ok, you might be feeding your Ego so you can feel superior, or you might have other reasons to be doing this.  The more time you spend blaming, the less you have to spend figuring out a solution to the problem.  Besides, you can only control YOU.  Observe yourself, and make a conscious decision about how much judging you want to be doing.

Stop Seeing Yourself as a Victim  Do you wish things were different than they are?  What do you choose to do about it?  You can choose to feel sorry for yourself, get mad at the world for being the way it is, get depressed about it.  OR, you can accept that things are the way they are, it JUST IS, and then decide what actions you can take to deal with it.

Look for the Lesson  One way to deal with the challenges and mysteries of life is to look for the lesson.  Many say that you will face certain situations over and over again, until you learn the lesson that is presented.  Feel like the same stuff keeps happening to you?  Look for the lesson, learn something, gain wisdom.  The idea is, if you learn the lesson, you won’t remain stuck dealing with the same situation over again.  Also, if you look at life this way, you won’t be as likely to take these things personally and you will be less likely to see yourself as the victim.

Listen to your Intuition  This is probably the single most important hint, and the most liberating.  Trust yourself!  YOU are powerful.  YOU are wise, if you choose to be.  YOU have a piece of God inside you – use it!!  Not only are you an amazing human being, but God is on your side, and you only need to ASK for help, and it will be there!!

Have Patience…  This is the hardest one for me.  Things don’t necessarily fall into place as quickly as we would like.  We have to trust and let go of doubt.  Ugh.

Lastly…

Find the Humor in Everything  Despite all this serious talk, don’t ever forget that life is to be ENJOYED!!  It’s easier to see the humor in life when you are in Observer Mode.  When you recognize a challenge that pops up in front of you as one you have seen before, laugh at the fact that life is giving you another chance to slay the dragon!  When you see drama unfolding, and you see the participants as actors in the play, appreciate the wonderful acting job they are doing, and laugh!  Appreciate each character for the caricature that they are!

Most of all, learn to laugh at yourself.  It’s ok to be vulnerable.  It’s ok to make a mistake.  When you laugh at yourself, when you enjoy your own journey, and others see you, it gives them permission to go easy on themselves.  Hey, we’re all here together doing the best we can.  Why not enjoy it while we’re here?!

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