What do you do when things do not pan out the way you had hoped?
Do you get disappointed and frustrated? Do you get depressed and discouraged. Do you criticize yourself or blame others because things did not work out?
If you see yourself in any of the above, you are at risk for stress, conflicted relationships, low self-esteem, anger problems, and even a suppressed immune system.
We know that our emotions impact our physical wellbeing, and the emotions mentioned above all have a negative effect both on ourselves, and on those around us.
We live in a world which is complex, with myriad interconnections, many of which we cannot control. Consequently, as often as not, things will turn out differently than expected. If we know this, we should not be upset or disappointed when it happens. We need to remain calm, try again, or try something completely different.
You can adopt a philosophy that will make it easy for you to do this in any situation. You can assume that whatever is happening will somehow serve the highest good. Your ego may be attached to a certain outcome, but there may be a higher good of which you are unaware.
The train that blocks traffic, holding you back, may be holding you there so you will not be at the next intersection just when an accident was to occur. The job layoff may be opening new doors for you that, in your disappointment, you cannot yet imagine. The partner who walks out on you may be making room in your life for someone who fulfills you infinitely more than did he or she.
When things go sideways, the ultimate benefit or higher good may be impossible to fathom at the time. This is where trust comes in. We must trust that in time, we will be shown, or will come to understand the learning and the perfection that is inherent in all life experiences.
As always, we have a choice. We can remain stuck in ego and rail at the unfairness, the randomness, and the incomprehensibility of it all. Or, if we want to live a life of grace, we can choose to trust in the principle that there is a divine wisdom in all that occurs. If we cannot see it, it does not mean it is not there-only that we have not yet learned to trust, and to accept that all of our experiences are vital aspects of our soul’s journey.
Gwen Randall-Young is an author and award-winning Psychotherapist. For permission to reprint this article, or to obtain books or cds, visit www.gwen.ca