“Everything Happens For The Best,” Gurumayi was known to say at the ashram where Shaman Guy and Kai hung out years ago.
This sentiment is lovely and reassuring. It offers hope when you’re facing heartbreak, financial setbacks, or injury. There is the promise that somehow the suffering that you’re experiencing now will eventually lead to your soul mate, more awareness, or better times.
When facing the shootings in Connecticut, or the devastation of Hurricane Sandy, or any war in the world, WTF?!? How to make sense of these tragedies as being “best”? A part of me recoils at the cruelty of the suggestion.
I do not profess to know. I think we are all trying to make sense of the state of the world these days. I only know what has been true in my life. And I’ve been sitting with the question of whether everything happens for the best in my heart for the past few days.
What I do “know” is that my biggest spurts of awareness and personal growth have been fueled by heartbreak/betrayal, loss of loved ones, physical injury. Yes, I’ve had many, many insights sitting quietly and for long hours in my Dreaming/meditation chair. And yet, the big “ouches” are the ones that have woken me up to my small beliefs. The sucky parts of life seem to be the ones that crack my heart open and allow more love, healing and compassion to rush in.
There was Mexican Man who wooed me in Spanish and allowed me to open myself to adoration. He also taught me that when my intuition repeatedly pokes me with warnings, I should listen. Discovering the secret other girlfriend, wife, and children was heart crushing. But it also made me reconsider who I was beyond my abilities and talents. It broke me identifying myself as someone who was good at everything, but had no idea who I am as essence, source. Thank you, life.
When Junebug, my mother-in-law died a year and a half ago, I lost someone who unconditionally loved me and cheered me on. Yet I gained the visceral understanding that our connection goes beyond physical bodies, that she is still unconditionally loving and cheering me on in spirit. I’ve also discovered that I’m ultimately the source of unconditional mothering for myself. Yes, I will always miss that I can no longer pick up the phone and tell her about my day. But my spirit thanks her for these openings.
When my laptop and my eye were on a collision course last weekend, I saw the dynamics of the spirit-body connection. I watched the consequence of not listening to my intuition result in a physical injury that resulted in a spiritual awakening. Wow. Sucky way to awaken, but wow, thank you.
When I look out into the larger world, I can only pray for the same openings and awareness. If we go beyond blame and arguments for whatever we believe – more gun control, no gun control – if we let go of the “why” and instead ask, “How can this tragedy be for the best?” then perhaps a small drop of good can come out of horrific actions.
On a human level, our experiences often hurt. They cause confusion and anguish and broken hearts. And yet on a spiritual level, the suffering and breakdowns can create channels for love to pour in. Look at the wellspring of support and caring that have come since Sandy Hook or after 9/11. Look at the races to cure cancer in the name of loved ones lost. Look at the advocates for causes that arise from families who have suffered in a tragedy.
On a global level, I can only pray that tragedy wakes us up and forces us to question the way we’ve been living – whether it’s a debate over guns and safety and mental illness, or a conversation about global warming and the erratic weather patterns. We can use tragedy to raise our consciousness, to see that we are all connected. When one child goes down, all of our hearts are affected. When one nation is polluting or having a population explosion, the entire Earth is suffers. We are One Humanity, living on one planet.
I’ve been very quiet these past few days. My heart feels heavy and yet my consciousness feels expanded. I’ve been allowing the idea of “everything happens for the best” to both rile me up, to bring up the discomfort, and also to soothe my soul.
Yes, life can suck. But somehow, perhaps, it’s for the best. Because when we suffer, we often awaken.
W.T.F.? Sure we all know what that means. I’ll go with Gurumayi: E.H.F.T.B.