Completely change how you see your world.
Theory of life and death. “What if?”
For months I have danced around this conversation and have told myself repeatedly that I will NOT write on this topic. However, after reaching out to over 16,000 people asking what subject matter would serve them? The topic of forgiveness and grief repeatedly came up. The more conversations I had, the more I realized that the deeper matter may be an individual’s perspective PRIOR to the tragedy or life-altering event. Maybe changing perspective would change the way we moved through forgiveness and through grief?
Life will include pain and loss. But, they say “carry on” not carry it “on you.”
If you want to carry life's layers of pain and loss? If you are looking forward to spending the next fifty years dragging these burdens, saying, “Why me?” Stop reading. You have that right. After all, it is yours to carry if you choose. Reading on won’t magically fix the broken parts of you or make life NOT hurt. But maybe, just maybe after reading this you will feel more powerful and capable as life happens around you?
“What if WE were the co-creators of this life BEFORE it began?”
If you want to completely change how you see the world and feel more like a powerful co-creator in your life than a victim? Follow this exercise.
• Close your eyes and take a deep breath. Remember back to when you were a child, daydreaming and making up stories in your head. You wrote fairy tales and had imaginary adventures. Go there again. Sit in your imagination where anything is possible. You are the writer and main character.
• Now, imagine that you haven’t been born yet. You and God (the Universe, the Divine, your Higher Power) are hanging out high above the earth looking down. In my story, I like to think that we are enjoying something decadent, chocolatey and sweet while floating on puffy clouds discussing my life to come. Maybe you would imagine a beer and ballpark hot dogs while chilling in lawn chairs? Perhaps a fine cigar while in leather massage recliners? Who cares! I say have fun with it!
• God looks at you and says, “Bob, what would you like to learn in this precious lifetime? What kind of lessons? Accomplishments?” God goes on to ask, “What kind of parents do you want? What kind of talents, gifts, or skills will you honor?”
• You give it some careful thought and respond. You talk about stepping into independence at a young age, finding your voice, learning forgiveness. You say that you want to gain wisdom, make a difference, and influence others. Or, maybe you say that you want a quiet life in a quiet town?
• So, God turns to the other souls around him and says, “Who here can step up and teach this soul forgiveness and independence?” A soul steps forward, “I can be the father that abandons you at a young age. The catalyst in your life that teaches you to be strong, independent, and to forgive.”
• One by one, the souls step forward to be your teachers. The bully in middle school who helped you find your voice. The crappy boyfriend or girlfriend that helped you see that you deserved better. They all line up to serve your soul. They are the teachers that teach us as much through love as through pain. They guide us to become who we are meant to be. Maybe it is the soul of your daughter who steps forward, agreeing to teach you love and forgiveness by living a short life. Taken too early by a murderous monster. Knowing that her short life will catapult you into fighting for legislation that saves countless others’ lives?
For me, the only way to survive the painful seasons in this life has been to return to this idea of co-creation. It was the only thing I could dive into and still breath when I felt everything around me, crushing my heart. I credit this comforting and empowering way of seeing life’s pain to many great authors and teachers who speak on the topic of co-creation. Authors like Gary Zukav, Dr. Shefali, and Caroline Myss were powerful influences in my healing and my rising above my circumstances.
I should add that grief is kryptonite to every one of us. It is in and of itself a beast. It will shut down every aspect of your life until it is dealt with. It can even kill you. And forgiveness? I could not even begin to understand or guide a parent of a murdered child through that process. What I AM suggesting is perspective that may be both healing and freeing to anyone frozen in their life situation.
If you have ever felt the pain of losing a loved one? If you have ever experienced a trauma that changed you? If you have wondered why life served you up what Elizabeth Gilbert refers to as your “shit sandwich?” Instead of being the victim on the receiving end, maybe our souls are so powerful and robust that we can not only survive but rise above it.
Often, I witness us too stuck in our beliefs to open our minds to the “what if?” This “what if” space is found on the playground of the imagination. Where we write stories as heroes or victims. The “what if” space has kept me going.
When we are stuck in our beliefs, we lose the ability to “wonder” and to imagine. In order to hold onto our story, we must hold onto our beliefs. Any opposing idea is met with fist up and loud proclamations. We miss the opportunity to feel comforted and possibly heal. We become so fixated on the chapter we are in and the painful emotions that we feel as victims that we cannot see the bigger picture.
Many of us have tragic stories. Stories that told out loud make others physically uncomfortable to hear. For me, moving out of angry victim mode into a space of gratitude, forgiveness, and joy only happened when I changed my perspective of MY ROLE in MY LIFE as a powerful co-creator.
Besides, what if?…