You know a black hole when you feel one sucking the soles off your shoes. The car ride that should take 20 minutes takes 90. Even the Lyft driver is freaking out. Everything and everyone is off kilter. No one is understanding anything that anyone else is saying. It’s. All. Wrong. Even the things that are actually right you think they’re wrong, because you’re in fight or flight mode. Your fundamental security is threatened and your panic mode networks in your brain think everything is a life or death emergency.
Unless there’s blood or fire or flood, it’s probably not a real emergency. If it can be fixed tomorrow by an amount of money that’s in your bank account, it’s not a life-or-death emergency. Look at the four walls around you and reassure yourself you’re ok with whatever words help you come back to center.
Hold the possibility that you’re not the victim of the world, that you’ve drawn the circumstances of your current situation to teach you exactly the lesson you’re ready to learn – not the one you’re *supposed* to learn like some dreadful kindergarten teacher lording a ruler over your knuckles, but the one you’re *ready* to learn.
Painful circumstances aren’t here to punish us, they’re here to invite us to heal our core wound. The role of pain in the body is to tell us where to focus our attention so that we can stop hurting ourselves in that way. Blisters are painful so that we can notice that it’s time to change shoes or perhaps stop walking for the day. There’s no malice in blisters hurting, they’re only painful to promote the wholeness of the body. Our thoughts and feelings need even more tender care. Heart pain shows us where our attention needs to be focused to shift our actions in the world so that our soul may be whole.
Consider that the universe is a custom-made workshop for your good. It’s a course made for one – you, the star pupil. But it’s even better – you don’t get a grade, you get to take your tests over and over again until you ace them. You can’t get this wrong. If you’re stuck on a particularly hard step, you get as long as you need to work out the problems, and people will come along and make the lesson clearer and clearer until you get it.
There are no obstacles in life. Whatever person or circumstance you think is in the way IS the way. As Matt Kahn says in his book of the same title, everything is here to help you. More from him on the excellent Bliss and Grit podcast.