Life Lessons: The Call to Experience and Meaning
In the work of healing, personal growth and empowerment, we start by practicing awareness - seeing things as they are, witnessing, becoming conscious of identity, open, curious, suspending judgment. Awareness leads to acceptance - releasing us from judgment, permeating the ground of identity, flowing out of awareness into love of self, progressively entering the being state. And deepening acceptance leads to change, as we get out of our own way, let go, drop defensive patterns, venture beyond character, transcend resistance through grace, becoming more unpredictable, in harmony with our own nature and with Nature. Our emergence into freedom and to the next stages of transcendence and self-realization depends upon the profound experience of meaning, living our purpose, and learning from life.
When Jung said, "Restlessness begets meaninglessness, and the lack of meaning in life is a soul-sickness whose full extent and full import our time has not yet comprehended", he might have been talking about the twenty-first century. Our ability to live as if we had all the time in the world, with little need for searching and deepening into experience and insight is nothing short of mind-boggling complacency.
Complacent because unless enlightenment becomes the yardstick for humanity it is difficult to imagine a positive outcome to the modern era. As the physicist Peter Russell remarks: "A genuine love for the rest of creation... A deep affinity with everyone and everything... It is towards this goal of enlightenment of all that humanity must now move... If the growth of interest continues to swell, the evolution of human consciousness will then have become the dominant area of human activity... Self-development would become our prime goal."
Our lives are the living definition of the logic of our existence, if we can only penetrate deep enough to see. When we profoundly accept our life as it is, it yields great gifts and opportunities. We have become students - adepts as they say in the East - and we can look beyond fear, knowing that we are the only ones who are holding us back.
As you deepen in consciousness, you discover the sense of purpose and experience in your life which leads to genuine humility. When you become grateful for life and what it teaches you have become a student of life and when life is your teacher, you are open to the greatest of lessons. We are always faced with a choice: whether to meet life as difficulties and obstacles, sadness, misery and frustration, or as blessings, help, benevolence and abundance. The first choice leads to self-absorption, depression and becoming lost in the shadow. The second opens you to life's gift.
To learn from the lessons of your life is to accept in a dynamic and enriching way whatever happens to you. When you face your life lessons honestly and openly they help you to evolve and see past, the illusion of your separate self, deepen in your consciousness and reveal your true purpose. When you make a commitment to your conscious growth as a human being the lessons may be more difficult, but all the help you need is given to you and so you can deepen in your openness and receptivity to life.
Perhaps we intuitively know that to recognize and accept our life lessons will lead us into a deeper responsibility to life. We may no longer be so self-obsessed, as our hearts open and we become one with Existence. We can no longer carry out our defensive strategies in relationships and we are bound to be open and honest, since there is nothing left to hide.
Meaning and truth await us beyond the point of surrender where we willingly and totally engage with life. We need to feel our feelings and to deepen in our experience and ability to occupy the inner realms. We need to see through and let go of defensive and addictive behavior. Finally, where we meet the truth in ourselves with the authenticity and responsibility which brings we need to forgive... and practice forgiveness in our lives.
Being grateful for our lessons, grateful for life and honoring life's lessons through deepening in our intimacy with life, living in reverence and humility, we draw closer to our center, closer to our true Self and closer to the Source.