“The goal is to grow so strong on the inside that nothing on the outside can affect your inner wellness without your conscious permission.” -Unknown
We all want to feel in control of our lives. The problem is life is not exactly predictable. We can try to prepare for all that life sends our way. Still, we will inevitably encounter a situation where we have no control. The only thing you can do is control is your response to all that life brings our way. However, far too often, we react. Many people think responding and reacting are the same. I have made my own personal distinctions between the two that help me gain control of the only thing I can control… Me.
A reaction is a reactive emotional reflex to a person or situation based on how we feel. Our feelings are the lowest level of understanding. One of my favorite teachers, Mooji, often says, “emotions are like clouds.” Clouds are not permanent fixtures in the sky. They are a chemical reaction just passing through. Clouds block us from seeing the sky clearly, but if you wait long enough, they blow away, we need not get attached to them.
A response is quite different. Your response is not based on your emotions. A response is a decision you choose based on what you KNOW to be true, in spite of how you feel or what you observe. Every morning, I choose to acknowledge how beautiful the sun is, even when I don’t see it. “It is a beautiful day, and the sun is shining, I just can’t see it right now.” My response is based on what I know, not what is presenting in the weather. I know that every day the sun comes up in the east and it sets in the west. Most of the time, we live in reaction mode, and we don’t respond to what we know. We react with how we feel. We allow the circumstances and situations we encounter to determine our awareness.
Our world operates in beautiful harmony. The sun comes up every morning; the season’s change and all of nature have a divine order. Why would we, as humans, be left out of that order? The truth is that there is an order to everything that happens in our lives. As we develop insight into this truth, we gain the control that we so desperately seek. We can not physically control the situations we encounter. It is impossible. We do have limitations in this physical reality. However, there is good news. Our physical reality was designed by a force that governs all of creation. This universal presence keeps everything in motion. Everything is connected and happens for a purpose.
Have you ever seen a very elaborate chain reaction contraption in action? The ball bounces three times on each stair, lands on a lever and rolls to the right and hits a domino. The lever is attached to a string that pulls a wheel and so on, and so on. Life is just like that except even more elaborate and never-ending. Every action was created and carefully orchestrated to cause a reaction that does not fail to accomplish the purpose for which it was designed. There is a unique intricate, and purposeful design to this physical reality. When we try to comprehend the reasons with our minds, we can not grasp it. But when we embrace it knowing that everything is happening for us in our hearts, we can learn to trust the design and the process as it unfolds. When you embrace the knowing that everything that happens in this life is happening for us, by us, and through us, you realize everything has a purpose for being, including you. This may be very hard for some people to accept. There have been some absolutely horrible things that have taken place in some people’s lives. I am aware, and I am not making light of them. There have been several things that I have experienced that for a long time, I could see no good in. There were things I did not deserve, things I felt wrongfully happened to me. If this is you, you may have a hard time believing that everything is working for your good. I hold space for you, and I lend you my strength and knowing until the complete sovereignty and love of God are made known to you.
I really struggled with this concept for a long time because I didn’t really understand it. There were far too many bad things happening in the world for me to believe that it was all happening for some “cosmic good.” It was not until I really began to regard my life through the awareness of being an eternal being having a physical experience that I was able to integrate this knowledge into my behavior. We, too, often walk around hypnotized by this physical life as if that is all that there is. But there is so much more. I know that this life is an experience designed to help us expand and grow as an eternal being. As an infinite being, I know that I am an extension of God. I know the qualities of God are love, joy, peace, and every expanding good. When I practice this mindset, I know that all things are working for my good and benefit. When I operate with this knowledge, I know, ” That the sufferings of this present time are not worth comparing with the glory that is to be revealed to us.” Romans 8:18