Think You’re in the Wrong Place? Think Again.
This is such a profound thought.
It points to the fact that perhaps life isn’t a random string of events that just happen to you… but rather there’s an underlying purpose - an intelligence - to what is unfolding.
It hints that our smaller “thinking/ego” part is in less control than we think. Rather there is a deeper part of us that's running the show and moving our feet (whether it be from within from our subconscious, or from the outside from a higher power). Either way it seems things are arranged to give you what you need.
Need for what you ask? Your growth. Your evolution.
I don't think the purpose of life is to "live the good life," but rather to expand. To unfold. To EVOLVE. And life seems hell bent on making you come alive, and more open and conscious... whether you like it or not.
Now before you stop here and chalk this up as some “woowoo horseshit,” here are a couple pretty convincing points that show that there is validity to Eckhart’s idea.
Science Shows Your Mind Is Always Playing “Catch Up”
Research shows that our brains make decisions before we realize it. It also shows that our attention is lagging behind reality by more than 80 milliseconds. In other words, you've already started speaking before you become aware of it.
And you’ve probably experienced this countless times.
Words fall out of your mouth at just the right time. You struggle with procrastination, but then suddenly without effort you find yourself doing it. You react in a split-second to avoid an accident before realizing what the hell happened.
… All of this shows me that perhaps - JUST perhaps - our thinking/ego mind isn’t the only player in our decision-making process, nor how we arrange things in our life. Deeper (e.g. unconscious) parts are at play at all times, moving pieces on the chessboard and causing certain situations to happen.
You Create What you Have in Your Life
A second piece of support is that you cause 99% (my estimate) of the stuff in your life to happen - be it consciously or unconsciously:
— Your life is full of drama? You created it.
— Have really bad health problems? You created it.
— Are constantly late for work then get fired? You created it.
You're less of a hapless victim of unforeseen circumstances then you may imagine. Granted a lot of it is done unconsciously, but you can trace back a pretty clear trail of actions that led you to where you are. Things don’t come into your life randomly - we call them in.
So by logic, what shows up on your doorstep isn’t as much of a surprise as you may think… it’s your stuff. There to be addressed / dived into / transcended.
OK so let’s say you buy the idea that everything that happens in your life has a purpose and is serving you. What now? How does this help you?
Here are 3 “big idea” takeaways:
1) Honor What is Arising Within You
Rather than dismissing problems and stresses that show up in your life, make USE of them. View your problems as gifts.
— Your bank account is a complete mess? This is a siren that you need to pay more attention to your views and behavior around money.
— Have a weight problem? This invites you to become more conscious about stress and food.
— Have a lot of fights in your relationship? Here is the training ground to look at your emotional stuff.
Pain and suffering's job seems to be a "slap-you-in-the-face, grab-you-by-the-shoulders, look-at-this!” signal that points out your unconscious parts (i.e. your “stuff”) that need to be looked at for your growth and evolution.
2) Go Easier on Yourself
In our Western culture we seem hell bent on beating ourselves up. We constantly feel like we're settling, underachieving, stuck, in our comfort zone. We regret past choices. We guilt trip on how we behaved and how things turned out.
For me, Eckhart Tolle’s quote is quite soothing. It says that everything is happening the way it needs to happen for your own unique evolution. It gives us permission to give a big sigh of relief that we're on the right path. Everything happened the way it did because that was what we needed.
We NEEDED to flunk that course, or go through that divorce or get that DUI. We NEEDED those wasted years or that big failure.
Egos need to be chipped away. Stubborn minds need to get the message. Flaws need to be revealed. Go easy on yourself.
3) Trust Where You Are
In most cases your stress is rooted in being “here” but wanting to be “there.” It’s so easy to believe we’re in the wrong job. In the wrong relationship. In the wrong country. Body. House. Path.
… But maybe, again just maybe, you’re exactly where you need to be. In exactly the right place.
How can that be? Because suffering can be a great teacher. Because you’re getting the field training you need for your next thing. Because what you¡re doing is a needed stepping stone. Because you need to learn something from what you're going through.
But don’t just believe me - look at where you are with introspection:
— “How could this be the best spot for me right now?”
— “What AM I getting out of this experience?”
— “Perhaps the way things are happening IS the best way it could be happening.”
Don’t immediately believe everything you think. Instead check in and see if the process CAN be trusted.
Honor what’s showing up at your doorstep. Find the value in how things played out. Trust the process. Entertain the idea that maybe the universe IS in fact conspiring to open you.