So often in the world of Spirituality, I hear the following phrase: “Life doesn’t send us anything we can’t cope with.” This isn’t to say that life doesn’t send us a barrel load of awful, but that when it does, we can deal with it, that our coping powers are far in excess of what we perhaps think.
In spite of this refreshing news, we still fail to cope on a daily basis with the events that crop up. When I say ‘fail to cope’, I don’t mean that we fall into a mega depression or run screaming to the hills every time life goes against us. Rather, we moan, whine, cry, get grumpy, snappy and generally over emotional about things that could otherwise be solved quite easily. These things, if we were to look closer, are perhaps not just problems, but maybe also solutions.
I started off this month with three flat tires. One on my car, two on my daughter’s pram. This seemed like more flat tires than any one person should have to deal with. But rather than rail against the Universe, and growl and moan to the skies, I had a little think about it. I write passionately in both my books about signs, and about how these might be visited upon us in so many ways. Usually I find my most profound signs in nature. A flat tire, or three, is not something I would usually consider to be a tool for the enigmatic powers of spirituality. But then… why not? I’ve also written about what I call ‘non-coincidences’, aka things that seem like just a mad coincidence of life, but actually are card carrying signals from the universe that bring us closer to our path and our truth.
So I smooshed my thoughts on non-coincidences and signs together in my head, along with the tire situation, and bam, there is was: some blatantly obvious truth that goes deeper than just deflated rubber and that holds true not just for me, but for you, too. My three saggy tires are a problem that have gifted me twice.
First, on a very human level, I have received a gift of abundance. The pram with the two flat tires is being sold today for a ridiculously cheap price, less than 5x what we paid for it. But these things depreciate quickly, and heck, it’s got two flat tires. Now for a split second, I thought I’d made a bit of spare money, until I remembered the third flat tire on my car. Whilst the money I’m making on the pram is not a huge amount, it is enough to buy a new car tire, and perhaps with enough spare to get a block of vegan cheese for my first attempt at vegan pizza later tonight! As we are in midst of moving house and all our spare cash is tied up in selling and buying related matters, this little gift has come with perfect, non-coincidental timing.
Secondly, and on a much greater plane of understanding, the problem of my three flat tires has caused me to really think about life and the nature of problems. Problems are par for the course here on earth, yet we all expect to live unblemished happy lives where nothing ever goes wrong. However, we are visited day in, day out by problems big and small. As you read this, I am sure you can relate. I am sure there are a several things hounding you right now.
Problems must come with perspective. My spiritual perspective is that they aren’t ever really, truly problems, but are actually little challenges. Sometimes they are catalysts that push us forward and force us to grow. Sometimes, as in my tire situation, they are actually solutions. The problems you are experiencing now will, over time, transform in your mind. As you look back on your life to the problems you have experienced, you will see how a little hindsight gifts you with a vision chock full of clarity.
For example: The unrequited love of your teens, a major problem at the time (no doubt tears were shed and large phone bills run up talking to your best friend about the object of your affections darling brown eyes!), will probably be seen as petty, a lesson in patience, a lesson in emotions, a near escape…
The job you didn’t get, the one you really wanted, the one that had your name on it, is now just a door that closed and sent you spinning off into a whole new world, perhaps a different job or career or training that is indeed, more you.
The broken pipe that led to a flood in your living room was a chance to get handy and familiar with DIY, perhaps learning skills that came in handy another time? Or maybe an opportunity to overcome a fear of letting strangers in your home as you had to employ a plumber? Perhaps you married the plumber?
The cold weather that meant you had to change into a warmer coat, which then made you late. And who knows what this little delay in your schedule caused you to miss – maybe a bad bout of traffic, maybe an accident? Perhaps as the result of this, you met a lady at the bus stop who you wouldn’t usually see. Maybe she inspired you?
All of the above are examples of how problems are indeed always solutions. They means nothing, of course, ’til you apply them to your own life and come up grasping dozens of examples. So go ahead, reach into your memory box and then please do share the problems you have experienced that actually were nothing but a blessing or a bit of learning in disguise!
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