I am a firm believer that everything in life happens for a reason. The Universe doesn't make mistakes. Yes—in every adversity lie seeds of wisdom. Unfortunately, it often takes some time for these seeds to bloom. To live mindfully means to be aware of this truth.
I have personally experienced enough adversity in life (failed relationships, addictions, injuries, etc.), which hindsight had proven to be blessings in disguise, that I now trust in this Universal Law. The trick is to have patience and certainty for the seeds that have yet to bloom. This is my definition of faith.
While doing research for my book, I’ve interviewed some courageous people who are great examples of this law at work in the world. Some of their stories include battling cancer, growing up in foster homes, and financial disaster. Without fail, they have all said that these challenging experiences have led them to discover hidden treasures. My friend Joanne actually said, “In hindsight, cancer was my friend, forcing me to make changes in my life that I was unable to do on my own.” Wow!
The School of Life can be brutal! Like any school, the longer we ignore our daily lessons, the more difficult the tests become. Trust me, I know. I was one of the stubborn ones. The definition of crazy is someone who repeats the same behavior over and over expecting different results. To be mindful simply means being aware that we are always being guided by a force greater than ourselves. The key is to allow ourselves some moments of silence—to listen for this inner guide.
Although we are currently living through some very turbulent times in our history, I'm still optimistic. There is a power at work in the Universe that often reveals itself during our darkest moments. Natural disasters are a good examples of this phenomenon in action. I lived in Houston for several years and have witnessed many hurricanes and floods. During these times of collective pain, humanity rises to the occasion. People come together for a common good. Young, old, rich, poor, black, white—it doesn’t matter. Also, when the rescue boat pulls up to your house, they don’t ask who you voted for! This connection or common humanity is baked into our DNA. Unfortunately, it often takes these highly emotional states to activate this primal reaction.
I feel like our current political climate is another good example, similar to one of these storms. Contrary to what many believe, our downward spiral didn't begin on November 8th, 2016. However, I do believe this 'Trump Era' will prove to be a blessing in disguise. It was time for a wake-up call. We had somehow become very complacent, comfortable in our discomfort. These past few years have exposed our weaknesses. The collective pain we are now experiencing has caused people to organize and engage in the political process like never before. Again, these highly emotional states can bring us together. It's baked into our DNA! I am confident humanity will rise to the occasion and come together for a common good.
How does this philosophy hold-up during a pandemic? Everything happens for a reason—really?? Yes! I do believe we will come out of this crisis better than ever. I can think of a few immediate benefits I have experienced over this past year;
The virus has helped dissolve the illusion of separation between us. We are all ONE! The virus knows no borders.
We have been forced to reset. As a society, we have been bragging for too long about our ability to multi-task. This temporary isolation gives us time to be still, self-reflective and mindful.
Personally, I was taking a lot for granted. This crisis has made me more aware and grateful for simple things I rarely ever thought about. I'm now longing for personal interactions with family, friends and neighbors. I'm starting to recognize and appreciate the often “invisible people” in service industries who help keep this country running (bus drivers, food industry workers, delivery drivers, garbage collectors, etc.).
New heroes are revealed every day. We’ve all developed a deeper appreciation for healthcare workers.
The planet is quickly healing during this momentary pause. This should give us hope for what is possible in the future if we have responsible leadership.
Again––In every adversity lie seeds of wisdom. Unfortunately, it often takes some time for these seeds to bloom. Coming together as a global community could be the hidden treasure.
Written by Craig Kolavo, author of AWAKEN the SLEEPING GIANT and founder of AwesOmLife.com .