You know those situations in life where you’re wondering, “Why does this keep happening to me?” That’s what I want to talk about today. One of my favorite lines from A Course in Miracles is, I Am Not The Victim Of The World I See. And I truly believe that. The whole point of teachings like A Course in Miracles is that you can change your mind. And if you do, you will live a much happier life. It’s about learning to stop complaining about your circumstances, and instead changing your PERCEPTION of those circumstances and taking action. It’s like the famous serenity prayer. Grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change, courage to change the things I can, and wisdom to know the difference. So yes, do everything that’s in YOUR power to improve your circumstances, but everything beyond your power – learn to accept it by changing your perception of it. Mindset plays a huge role in how happy and at peace we are. So let me offer this shift in perception to you.
I came across this quote the other that said: Don’t ask why it happened, ask what you learned. And I think that’s a very helpful attitude. Because that’s the blessing in everything and in every experience. No matter what, there’s always something you can learn. And that’s the point of life. If you don’t learn these lessons, you’re gonna keep repeating your past mistakes. But if you take an honest look and consciously shift your perception from feeling sorry for yourself, or blaming someone or something else, to looking for what the experience taught you and what you can do differently – that’s where growth happens.
God’s will for you is perfect happiness. He never wanted you to go to that dark place in the first place. But because you went there, He went with you. He would never leave you alone. And the least you can get from even the saddest experiences, is a valuable lesson learned. And that’s the mindset we want to adopt.
Yes I was burned but I called it a lesson learned
So I call it a lesson learned
My soul has returned
So I call it a lesson learned
Another lesson learned
–Alicia Keys “Lesson Learned“
I’m currently reading Lilly Singh’s book How To Be A Bawse. In it she talks about this same process and she calls it “sending the GPS deep”. She says when looking at our issues there’s a minimum of three layers, and in order to improve we have to explore the underlying reasons for our behavior, instead of only floating around at the surface.
The first layer is how we explain our behavior to other people.
The second layer is how we explain our actions to ourselves.
And the third layer consists of the deep rooted reasons we actually behave the way we do.
And again, a MINIMUM of three layers. As you keep digging, you might even find a fourth or fifth one.
So when looking at your negative experiences, what’s the first layer? Often in that first layer we find someone to blame. A scapegoat. This could be another person, it could be your circumstances, even God. Why do we do that? Because it’s an easy out. Who doesn’t love a scapegoat? It’s much easier to say that the universe is against you or that other people are jerks than to admit that you played a part in this. But there’s no growth there. With that blaming perspective, you can play the victim. And the ego LOVES playing the victim. Why? Because that means there’s nothing you can do about it. After all, it’s the other person, it’s those circumstances, it’s God! If all of those forces are ganging up on you, you just have to accept that, right? The ego loves it because it means you won’t have to change anything. You can just lean back, complain and wallow in your misery. So much easier than to admit to yourself that you played a part in this, that you ignored your intuition, that you self-sabotaged, and that you actually have to – dear Lord – make changes in your life and your behavior (the horror!).
And since a lot of us like the idea that we’re a co-creator of our life, that’s important for us to realize. You can’t just take credit for the good things that are happening in your life and say, “I co-created that!” And then when it comes to the not so great parts, you’re blaming it on someone else and asking, “Why does he keep doing this to me?”
No, no, no. That’s not how this works. You have to take responsibility and ownership for everything – the good, the bad, the ugly, and the beautiful. Everything. Because guess what, not only CAN you be a co-creator of your life, you ARE a co-creator of your life! You always have been and always will be. So if some things in your life aren’t working out the way you want them to, the answer is not to look for a scapegoat or blame it on the universe (God’s will for you is perfect happiness), but to look at yourself and be honest about the ways in which you have sabotaged your own happiness.
The ego would rather play the victim, but A Course in Miracles teaches us that we are NOT the victim of the world we see. We have free will! And with that free will we can choose to either follow God’s guidance by following our intuition, or to just go deeper and deeper into the darkness and complain about it along the way.
A Course in Miracles says we are like people standing in a very bright room, with our hands in front of our eyes, complaining that it’s dark in here.
It’s not dark in here! You’re the one covering your eyes! And now it’s time for you to open them, and let the light in.
So when you think about the three (or more) layer principle, and apply it to the aspects of your life that you’re not happy with, how do you explain them to others, to yourself, and what do you think are the deep rooted underlying reasons for their occurrence?
As you’re looking at your past experiences in that area, can you see the upward trend? Did you learn from those experiences? Has that area of your life improved over the years? If it has, that’s great news. It means you are learning from your experiences. Now it’s just about speeding that process up by bringing more awareness and deliberate action into it.
It’s called the past cause I’m getting past
And I ain’t nothing like I was before
You ought to see me now
–Alicia Keys “Lesson Learned“
And one way to avoid unnecessary drama in the first place is to listen to your intuition. The more you strengthen your intuition, the clearer you will see and know who and what experiences are safe for you to be around and who/what should be avoided. And it won’t necessarily be logical or make any sense to the logical mind. It’s just a gut feeling. An inner knowing. So you won’t necessarily have a clear explanation. Rather it will look something like, “I don’t want to hang out with them. I feel uncomfortable around him. They’re giving off “bad vibes”. I don’t want to be here. I don’t feel safe here.” Or anything to that extent. And when you listen to that gut feeling, you’ll be safe.
So that’s one more reason why it’s so important to strengthen your intuition, meditate, journal, pray, and just trust your instincts even when there’s nothing fishy visible at the surface. Your intuition can look deeper. And it will always warn you and try to keep you on the path of your highest good.
We’ve been mentally trained to solve problems at the level of effect — thinking if we had more money, a better partner, a different job, etc., we would be happy. But these are mere illusions of the ego mind, guaranteed to keep us on a constant wheel of suffering by which we seek but never find. To effect real change in our lives, we must change our perceptions. And such a fundamental shift in thinking, from change on the level of effect to change on the level of cause, is a miracle. By making such changes we ourselves become miracle-workers — with the ability to change not only ourselves but also the world around us.
I hope this helps you guys. As I said before, shit happens. And it sucks. It totally does. But the least you can get from those experiences is a lesson learned. And when you learn your lessons, and take action based on those new insights, you are less likely to repeat past mistakes, and more likely to be more happy, more often. And that’s the goal here. This world isn’t perfect. So we can’t expect to be perfectly happy all the time. But we CAN get to a point where we’re happy most of the time with only fleeting moments of darkness, IF we take action and learn from our past mistakes. And speaking of the serenity prayer – while most people know that first part, not that many know the second part, though it’s brilliant. It says,
Living one day at a time,
Enjoying one moment at a time,
Accepting hardship as a pathway to peace,
Taking, as Jesus did,
This sinful world as it is,
Not as I would have it,
Trusting that You will make all things right,
If I surrender to Your will,
So that I may be reasonably happy in this life,
And supremely happy with You forever in the next.
How about that?
I hope that opened up a little crack in your soul for the light to get back in.
As always, I really appreciate your feedback and love hearing from you! So don’t hesitate to leave me a comment below.
Have a beautiful day everyone!
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