As I was on my way to volunteer at my daughter's school, I ran into a traffic jam on the interstate. Traffic was stop and go. It meant I was going to be late for the field trip and they were going to be left in a challenging situation since I was one of the drivers. I experienced the tension that comes with feeling trapped and unable to make a commitment. Instead of letting those stories take hold and run loose, I surrendered to the situation with a knowing that all of this is out of my control. When a thought arose that was steeped in resistance (i.e. I should have taken that last exit), it dissipated with the recognition that this was where I was meant to be.
Then, out of the blue, I was then given a very pleasant reminder about why I was in the situation I was in. As a car passed me slowly in the other lane, the woman driving waved and said, “I love your bumper stickers!” I smiled and thanked her as she moved on up in the line of traffic. I had forgotten that I just put two new bumper stickers on my car. One says, “Who would you be without your story?” (one of Byron Katie’s gems). The other says, “You are Perfect” (inspired by Benjamin Smythe). It became instantly clear that one of the reasons I was stuck in traffic at that moment was to display those statements to a large number of people, at least one of which resonated with the message and expressed gratitude. Thanks to stop and go traffic, dozens more people in nearby cars were given the opportunity to read those words, whether they resonated with them or not. I was deeply humbled and grateful to be serving Life’s purpose while stuck in traffic. At that point I got a little teary-eyed and said to Life, “Thank you, thank you, I love you.”
At that moment, traffic opened up and I hurried on to school, but I wasn’t stressed about being late and everyone having to wait on me. I knew everything, like always, was as it should be. In the end, we got to go on the field trip and had a nice time.
Later that day, I got stuck in bumper to bumper traffic once again. There were some initial thoughts about the potential for being late for my group meeting, but those thoughts quickly gave way and were replaced with a space of acceptance. Then, it occurred to me that the reason I was stuck in traffic again was so that I could finish writing what I started earlier. Here goes...
In my experience, Life will usually show me why I am going through challenging times, if/when I am open to receive the message. It might not happen immediately, but it usually doesn't take long for Life to show me how what is, is for a greater good. However, you don't have to know why things are the way they are in order to find peace in the midst of challenging situations. The answer will either be made known, or become unimportant in the grand scheme of things.
Ultimately, the answer to the question, “Why?” is, “Just for the pure sake of having this present experience.” The end goal, if there is one, would be so that we would all recognize that we are not actually the ones in control here and to accept that. To realize that our body/minds are being animated by a force far greater than the human mind, and that force is our True Nature. That realization can be the ultimate outcome of every moment when we fully embrace the isness of everything.
Here is a simple practice that might be helpful as you navigate minor challenges. As I go about my day, sometimes I find myself saying, “So, this is what Life wants for me,” with a smile of acceptance, curiosity and wonder, along with a deep trust that Life is always giving me what I need. Like it or not, this is exactly where you're supposed to be. Always.