I’ve believed for a long time that all things come bearing a gift. I will always be grateful for that mindset. It gave me a reason to get up in the morning after my husband’s sudden death. I had to find meaning—perhaps even a purpose—in what had happened or I just couldn’t accept it. So day after day, I set about trying to figure out what possible good could come from such a devastating loss.
The time for deep inner work had come. I may not have been willing, but I was certainly ready. Like a dry field waiting for rain, I both needed and wanted the answers that could only come from inside me. To my immense surprise, the answers did come, and they came in such surprising ways that they changed my life forever. Without my even knowing how, I was led to teachers who held keys to the truths I was searching for. An entirely new panorama gradually opened up before me, and as it did, I moved into a way of being that naturally flowed from my own deep inner springs. More than that, it brought me to Now, which is the best place in my life that I’ve ever been.
Now Is Always the Best Place to Be
Looking back, I can see that if things hadn’t happened exactly the way they did, I wouldn’t be where I am right now—so even when it didn’t seem like it, Now has always been the best place to be. Even when life was terribly difficult, even when I was in pain, and even when I was lost in grief, I was exactly where I needed to be. I didn’t see that then, but I see it now, so I’m able to give thanks for all of it. I see how important it was for me to walk through that valley so I could learn the lessons that would take me to where I am presently. And even now I know I’m learning what I need to learn so I can be where I’m going next.
Certainly, when I was in the throes of grief, I did not realize the profound opportunity that was opening up before me. Even if I had tried, I could never have imagined what was in store. All I could do was meet the challenge a day at a time, but that’s really all life ever asks of us, isn’t it—to live life one day at a time?
In retrospect, I can see that what I thought of as trials and tribulations were simply life’s way of getting my attention, of showing me I could be so much more than I was. I think this is true for all of us. The longing we feel comes from something deep within us that is calling to us and drawing us to itself. If we could but see the extravagance with which the Divine is seeking to reveal itself to us, perhaps we would accept what’s happening in the present moment more gracefully. Thus it is that our anguish becomes a doorway to an unfathomable peace that only the heart can know.
One Step at a Time
The peace was years in coming. I had healing to do, and a lot of deep inner work. I had to develop resolve, strengthen my tenacity. Meeting the challenge and rising from it victorious required determination, and so the questions began. What can I learn from this? What is this trying to teach me? And not least of all, How can I help? How can I serve?
But did I really mean it? Did I mean it with all my heart? Was I unflagging in my commitment to conquer my grief, even if it meant letting go of the pain, forging a new way of life and perhaps even a new sense of identity?
Fortunately, the process came on slowly, one step at a time. Bit by bit, lesson by lesson, I took the steps and the path emerged. I began to see how all was not lost, only changed. As I embraced this freeing truth, my own sense of identity began to shift. More and more, my spiritual nature came to the forefront of my awareness. I began to understand that the “I” of me is eternal, that this body is just the instrument that “I” am using to have this space-time experience. When this body has served its purpose, “I” will move on to another dimension of experience and expression.
We Are Where We Need to Be
Once I got a glimpse of this amazing truth, I was able to accept what was happening more readily. I was able to understand that challenge stretches us and helps us grow so we can awaken to who we really are. Then, whether we are in the valley or on the mountaintop, we know we are exactly where we should be and that all is well.
Seeing things in this light makes it so much easier to accept what is, perhaps even to welcome what is, whether it is to our liking or not, because now we know that whatever is happening is exactly what needs to be happening in this very moment. I didn’t always see it that way, but I do now, and that understanding has made all the difference.
Now I see that whether we are aware of it or not, every moment of every day, each of us is being led by a light we cannot see. We all have this light within us, this pure love at our core. That love is the truth of our being, and it is always speaking to us. As we recognize this truth, we can move closer to the splendor that is already present, hidden within our hearts.