We can listen to our life as it happens to us. We listen with our awareness. Our life does not just randomly happen in isolation from who we are; there are usually reasons behind what happens to us. Marriages don’t just suddenly break up. Someone doesn’t just reach a goal randomly. Our success or lack of success in any area of our lives can usually be traced to decisions we make, beliefs we entertain, or actions we have taken.
Boredom, confidence, worry, depression, frustration, happiness or sadness; each have their causes; each is with us for a reason, so we had best listen to them. Our life is a mirror showing us ourselves. Our life is our greatest barometer as to what is happening within us. It is our truest indicator of how connected and aligned we are with ourselves.
What is happening to you cannot be ignored. If we are sick, this is a message. If our relationships are forever breaking up, this is a message. If you’re always struggling financially, this too is a message. If you’re unhappy, frustrated, uninspired, these are all messages. Listen to what your life is saying to you. Read the signs that are being given. Notice what is out of sync and what is not working. Trust life to give you an accurate reflection of your choices, patterns and habits, both internally and externally.
Our life is not a theoretical concept; it is a real time event happening to us and it is filled with information, so we should listen to what it is saying to us. We listen because we trust the truth it is revealing. We look into the mirror of our life to see what it is reflecting back to us. We need not be afraid of what it is showing us, even if the reflection is unflattering. The reflection we see is not an absolute truth carved in stone; rather it is information vibrating back to us about what’s happening in this moment of time.
THE SACRED WOUND:
The Sacred Wound is a term I use for the personal crises that each of us experience at different times in our lives. No one is immune to them, and they come at different times for different reasons. Crises happen because something wants to be noticed, something wants to be heard, or something is out of alignment. Sometimes it will be a financial crisis where we lose all we own and become bankrupt, or it could be a marriage breakup, or perhaps a serious illness. Whatever the crisis, it always shakes us to the core and makes us examine ourselves, our choices, our lifestyle, our beliefs. Nothing goes unexamined during a crisis, and that is why they are so valuable. Crises are never enjoyable but they are always valuable. They cause us to take notice and “listen” to our life, and that is why I call them sacred. They are life’s way of getting us to make changes, and without change we stagnate.
Comfort is the enemy of change and we seldom make changes when everything is going the way we want. Life demands change and movement, and if things are stagnant movement must come from somewhere. Sometimes only a crisis gets our attention. Crisis always precedes transformation. If you value transformation you should welcome crises when they gift themselves to us. It is valuable to receive life’s wake-up calls.
The sacred wounding deepens us. We become more aligned, more in tune with others and ourselves. In feeling our own pain, no matter how unpleasant, we touch and feel the pain of others. No longer puffed up with ourselves, filled with hubris, we are humbled in a way that makes us search for answers. These times are never pleasant, but they are sacred because they birth new insights, changes, and movement both internally and externally, and this is the process of life.
Countless times individuals have shared with me that their greatest success has come out of dealing with a crisis. A successful yacht builder once shared with me how his life changed dramatically after a major bankruptcy. Through this crisis he saw his life in a way he never could have imagined, and through seeing himself anew an opportunity was revealed. “It sprang up like a flower out of a great crisis,” he said. Marriage breakups, serious illnesses, deaths in the family, they wound us in a way that open us up for something different to happen in our lives. These crises are sacred and necessary and a valuable part of the journey of being a human being.
Listen to what your life is saying to you. Trust life to show you what you need to see. Often there are forgotten and neglected parts of us that need attention and only get noticed this way. Coming into relationship with our life happens when we stop categorizing everything as either a blessing or a curse, and use every circumstance as a way of deepening our life journey and ourselves.
A former cancer patient describing her initial reaction to hearing she had cancer said, “I didn’t ask why me? I asked what for? What is this calling me to do?” Taking this approach led her to lifestyle changes and opened her up to a new more challenging career. This is the correct approach. Life is always speaking to us, and as we cultivate and value listening we will hear and understand what life is saying.