SCHOOL OF HARD KNOCKS
When Rowan died the first couple of books I read scared me witless! I was picking up on that notion that if we don’t learn the lessons we are supposed to learn in this life then we have to come back and do it again and again until we gain the awareness we need. As I’ve said before, the idea of having to go through the process of losing a child again horrifies me; I can’t stress strongly enough that to lose a child is the absolute hardest thing for anyone to ever have to go through and once is enough!
I believe the trials sent to each and every one of us are predestined because we need to learn a particular lesson. Maybe our life purpose then pushes us to pass on what we learn to other people. Many people who suffer life-shattering experiences end up sharing their journey with others – with a hope that some little thing they write or tell may resonate with someone who is suffering similarly; a glimmer of hope may grow from that.
Our life-shattering experience is totally different to those of our friends. In this life we may not feel we have found our ‘soul mate’. We may be restless and unhappy because we think that we are missing out. So OK, our ‘soul mate’ hasn’t turned up but it hasn’t stopped us from forming close, warm, comfortable relationships; relationships that make us feel good. We may feel that we haven’t the amount of money we want or deserve but if we have a roof over our heads and can afford to put food on the table then we are luckier than many. Some may be predestined to contract a devastating disease. I watch friends fighting for their health and accepting the help of others and keeping their cheerfulness and humour intact in the face of pain. They make the lives of those around them far richer and far more remarkable by their patience and kind and loving attitudes to their illness and to life.
When these ordeals are sent to us we have to ask ‘what can I learn from this’? These trials are our life lessons and if we can learn these lessons in this life we can move forward.
One of the most important lessons I have learned is not to judge others. The beauty of this life is that we are all different. We all have different needs and gifts and abilities and choices. We don’t know why someone behaves the way they do because we are not walking in their shoes. I am not saying that we should tolerate actions that hurt others but we should accept people for who they are and whether or not they fit our concepts of how someone should behave or what someone should be. We should accept their sexual orientation, the colour of their skin, their physical appearance –these things can’t affect our lives in a detrimental way? If we do judge, we judge these traits without them having any bearing on us whatsoever and that becomes interfering in other peoples’ lives. Everyone should be allowed to express themselves freely and openly without being criticised as long as they are causing no harm to others. As suggested by my hero, His Holiness The Dalai Lama, it is our responsibility to look at all people with love, compassion, forgiveness and understanding. Intuition is a shared gift possessed by every race, colour, sexual preference and religion. We need to look past what separates us and try to see what actually connects us all. I’m thinking that the Universe and Mother Earth are the two major things we share. Why can’t we share them in harmony with each other?
No-one gets away Scott-free! We all have life-shattering experiences along the way. It’s a matter of personal choice whether we chose to learn and grow from them or ignore them with hopes that the pain will disappear and life will go back to normal. When we die we won’t judge ourselves based on how wealthy, beautiful or successful we were in life – we can’t take our wealth with us and our body or shell remains earth-bound too. We will be judged and we will judge ourselves based on our actions during our life and based on how much we loved ourselves and others. Am I able to look into the mirror every day with a clear conscience – do I like what I have done today? Have I been kind and thoughtful? Have a done anything to help anyone else or improve anyone else’s life today? If the answer is ‘yes’ then I guess I am on the right track.