My birthday comes close to Christmas and New Year’s, so this time of year has always been a season of reflection for me. The 2008-2009 cusp has been an especially optimistic period for me, and I don’t think I’m alone there.
I believe in some form of reincarnation. Though I’m not exactly sure what it looks like or if the process is exactly the same for everyone, I do know that my soul is eternal. It existed before I was conceived and will live on after I die.
One thing that goes along with that belief is the knowledge that there are certain lessons we must learn. Technically, we don’t have to learn them–only if we want to grow. Plenty of people die with the same anger, ignorance, addictions, and disease they were born with. Happens everyday.
Then there are those of us, like me and you, who truly wish to evolve.
One thing that has helped my advancement is the knowledge that the people who come into our lives are all there for a reason. Follow me.
It’s obvious that our parents and guardians were there to make sure we didn’t starve or drown in our own waste. The people who raised you may not have been perfect, but if you survived long enough to read this, they did something right along the way.
Then there are other people who came into your life at the right time. The teacher who taught you how to multiply fractions. The pastor who said the right words at a loved one’s funeral. The cab driver who gave you a free ride when you really needed it. These people came into your life at a specific time for a specific reason. It is true that no person is an island, and we all have received grace along the way.
But what about the other people? The guy who swindled you out of some money. The smooth talker who broke your heart. The bully. The co-worker who makes life a living hell. Anyone else you can’t stand or wish you had never met. Are they there for a reason, too?
It may be news to some, but everyone in our lives, good, bad, or indifferent, is there to teach us a vital lesson. I’ll be the first to admit that sometimes I lose my temper when provoked. When that happens, I always regret it later. I may be right about whatever is I’m ranting about, but that’s no reason to lose my cool.
Later, when I can step away from the destructive anger I was apparently born with, I can see the whole picture clearly. Sure, what the other person did was wrong, but my reaction was just as wrong. God put this person in my path as a test. Will I pass the test the staying calm no matter what comes my way? Not always, but the next test is never far away.
For reasons of safety, it is sometimes necessary to keep certain people from getting too close too you. But unless life or limb are in jeopardy, shutting “undesireable” people out of your life rarely helps in the long run.
I’m not talking about the truly sociopathic. I’m talking about regular people. The kind of people who have plenty of family and friends who love them, but for some reason, you can’t seem to live in peace with them. Know that the problem is within you. The good news is, so is the solution.
I’m too old to hang on to the same old excuses, and frankly, so are you.