Is it necessary to learn our biggest life lessons through trauma and difficulty? No! We can, but we don’t have to.
How do I know this? I have done both. For quite a while I believed in order to really get the lessons life had to offer me, it had to be through struggle and pain. Having this belief as a dominant one in my conscious mind and subconscious patterning, I shouldn’t have been surprised that life appeared to be pretty tough.
It all started about seven years ago when a friend gave me the book “Many Lives Many Masters” by Brian L. Weiss, MD. I recall reading something to this effect: We are each learning our own life’s lessons one at a time, sequentially.
With all this work I’m doing I’m only working on one lesson? This concept and my reaction led to a sort of “bring it on” mentality—“I can handle anything so send my next lesson to me now and in a big way. I’m ready to fight.”
So, when two days later my life was flipped upside down by an unsubstantiated accusation, I was only minimally consoled when thinking that I essentially asked for it. After a few weeks of addressing this trauma, I eventually put my life back together and was grateful for the lesson that accompanied it all.
I then moved to asking for my life lessons to be revealed in an obvious manner. I soon understood that obvious could mean a big slap in the face both metaphorically and literally. Obvious can be a car accident, a broken bone, a lost wallet, and on and on. Regardless of the intensity of the difficulty, once I did my inner work, I inevitably felt better.
The next iteration in my process of learning lessons through challenges took me to becoming much more purposeful in how I interact with life. I now know that I can experience just as powerful of a shift through lessons learned in a gentle and supportive manner.
As many of you know, I set an intention at the beginning of each class, workshop and individual session concluding it in the same way each time. It may sound something like this: “We intend to bring awareness to our negative patterns and limiting beliefs in order to release our ‘story’ and bring in more and more of what we truly desire. We ask for all of this with grace and ease and for the highest and best for all involved.”
When I intend, or ask the Universe to present my lessons with grace and ease, I am welcoming gentle nudges that will lead me to doing my inner work.
I’m reminded of a grace and ease lesson this past winter. While test driving the pre-owned car we were planning to purchase, the low tire pressure indicator came on. I mentioned it to the salesman and his response was that it was common in the winter for the tire pressure light to come on and that we should just reset the computer. My gut told me to have them check the tire and that it simply wasn’t okay to sell a car that had any sort of “check engine” light on. I ignored this feeling and we did as the salesmen suggested.
Less than a week later, I was driving home late at night from a friend’s place in a neighboring county. The car felt different as I was driving, and I noticed the tire pressure indicator was on again. Without looking, I knew that I had a flat tire. My phone battery was at about 10%, and I had just enough of a charge to make and receive a few necessary calls to the roadside assistance company and my husband. After my phone died, I moved to emailing my husband updates from my ipad which I rarely carry with me, but happened to have that evening.
A series of complications resulted in me needing a flat bed tow rather than simply putting the spare tire on the car. Two tow trucks and three and a half hours later, I was back home with our new car. I recall feeling frustrated at myself for not insisting that the dealership check the tires. At the same time, I was so grateful for the kind and patient tow truck drivers, the fact that I didn’t have a blow out on the highway while driving 70 miles per hour, the ability to still communicate once my phone died and the mild rather than icy cold winter evening.
Choosing to see all challenges as opportunities, I saw that there was much to learn here. Most important of all, I was reminded to listen to my intuition and ask for what I want and need in all moments.
My husband and I decided to get four new all-weather tires ($200 each) on the car and the dealership agreed to pay for one. When the check arrived, I was pleasantly surprised to see that they sent $800, reimbursing us for all four tires. I called to reveal the error and they decided to let us keep the whole amount. I gladly received it… with grace and ease.