Today's post is dedicated to the Rewired Life Blog Tour, where 17 self-development leaders are exploring and digging deeper into the concepts of loving yourself, healing your body and mind, and celebrating life. Check out more info here.
I'm sure you are all familiar with the old song "Celebration" by Kool & The Gang, a composition that has implored every wedding attendee for the last 30+ years to "celebrate good times, c'mon!"
Not that it's a particularly difficult assignment. It's easy to celebrate life when the Universe is giving us what we want, on our time table, in the exact form that we ask for it. When we are getting what we want, we'll write a 5000 word essay on Facebook about how #blessed we are.
But as soon as we get served a curveball, we become a whole lot less spiritual. When we get passed over for the promotion at work, we play the victim. At best, we swear we're being unfairly overlooked by that miserable, jerk of a boss. At worst, we'll believe that we are being "punished" by an unjust higher power, then start to judge and resent those who we feel are doing "better" than we are.
We all know people like this. If we are being honest, we've all been that person at some point.
Yet, as we walk our spiritual path and grow as human beings, it is so important for us to celebrate the perceived disappointments as much as the successes. Why? I would suggest two reasons:
1) We must be congruent with our beliefs. Either everything we experience is happening for a divine reason, or absolutely none of it is. We can't just sit here, picking and choosing the parts that fit our narrative as if we were picking out produce at the grocery store. We are either being guided, in every moment, to our next right move, or the Universe is random and our purpose is to scratch, claw, and suffer along the journey because we are an army of one who isn't supported.
2) The disappointments always lead to greater blessings than we could have imagined. What if you didn't get that promotion, and the $10,000 raise that came with it, because there is another opportunity around the corner with an even bigger title and salary? If your attention is focused on looking back over your shoulder at what could have been, could you miss the better opportunity that's sitting right in front of you?
When we take an approach that life is happening "for us" instead of "to us", things get easier. The journey becomes less burdensome. All we have to do is set an intention and then trust that we will be guided to the result. Will it be the exact same way we envisioned it? Not always. But by surrendering, we can flow effortlessly with the universe to a destination that exceeds our wildest dreams.
As a classic "high achiever", I went into a huge depression the first time I was fired from a job in my former radio career. What was supposed to be my "dream job" lasted only 8 months before being let go as part of a bigger management shakeup. I felt like a failure, I felt ashamed and embarrassed to face my friends. I felt like a lost a sense of my own identity. And quite honestly, I was pissed.
Yet, within 7 weeks, I was hired for a new job on the west coast that ended up being the biggest professional success of my broadcasting career. Additionally, while living in California, I reconnected with my passion for theater and started performing onstage at night just for fun. In doing so, I made some of the most special and important friendships of my adult life.
In 2012, my divorce felt like the single hardest thing I had ever gone through. I fell apart emotionally and did not know how to be vulnerable enough to ask anyone for help. But within that experience, as in every experience, there was grace. It was the event that started me on my self development path. I got clear about what I wanted and what I could no longer tolerate in my life. I learned to trust my gut instincts. Speaking of "gut", I lost 35 lbs. I had to lose the relationship to find me.
In your life, how can you choose to see a frustration differently?
Can we make an effort, starting right now, to celebrate it ALL? To celebrate the joy and the pain? Let's celebrate every single person who has touched our lives and found value in us, as well as those who have hurt us. Between them, they have shown us both the strengths and the weaknesses within ourselves. Can we choose to see our tormentor as a teacher? Can we replace our anger with love?
No matter what obstacle we face today, can we understand that this moment is as it should be?
If so, that's just one more reason to celebrate.
On Friday, Justine Froehlker checked in at the Ever Upward Blog
Tomorrow, check out Sonja Weick
To download a FREE chapter from Rewired Life, click here