A few days ago, I came to a realization. It wasn't the first time I've had this realization, and it probably won't be the last. You've probably thought of it yourself over the course of your life so far, or maybe not. But I think it's important to emphasize, especially when the going gets CRAZY tough.
Here's what I realized (again):
The universe works in mysterious ways. Ways that are not always completely understood, but in ways that provide us with what we need. Even if you're not listening, the universe is talking to you. I imagine that it is saying, "this is what needs to happen, let me provide you with what you need." Everything happens for a reason.
First, let me say that I recognize that we all practice spirituality in different ways. Some have a specific religion that they abide by or a god/being that they worship, others practice yoga/meditation or recite a series of prayers in silence, and some believe that spending time out in nature is a way to connect spiritually with the Earth. There are endless methods that people around the world use to be spiritual. But for now, for the purpose of this blog post, I will be referring to "the universe" as a general divinity for which you may substitute anything you'd like.
The universe is constantly providing. Sometimes in a very small way. For instance, the other week I was on an evening field trip to a local farm. It was a beautiful day and the forecast predicted serious thunder storms for the early evening. However, the rain held off for the entire outdoor tour of the farm, and the moment we stepped inside for a cooking demo, it started to downpour! It stormed for the entire time we were in the barn, but when we were ready to head out for the night, the skies cleared. Not only did the sun come out briefly one more time, but a double rainbow appeared as well!
Now, I know that sounds like a fluffy story that involves a little luck. But I could just as easily have put a positive spin on it if the weather had not cooperated. Let's say it stormed the entire time we we there. We wouldn't have cancelled the trip because the whole point of it was to get a glimpse into the life of a farmer. As you probably know, farmers are extremely dedicated, hard workers who go out in the field every day, rain or shine. In my opinion, it would have been enlightening to experience a routine challenge in this line of work.
So that was an example of a very small way that the universe provides. Let's take it to a different level where it could actually have a serious impact on someone's life...
In the spring of 2004, my mother had been working as an office administrator for the county attorney for over 9 years. She was a very hard worker who received praise frequently from those who worked above and below her at the office. That year, my mother, along with many of her co-workers, lost her job due to a scandal the boss was involved in.
"Why did this happen to me?" I remember her asking, over and over. As a single mother with a daughter just entering high school, this was a very stressful situation for her. A couple weeks later, at a routine checkup, we found out that her breast cancer was back for the second time, and it was more aggressive than the first... Coincidentally, her sister had been laid off around the same time. Living just a state away, they decided that she would come stay with us and take care of my mom until she got better. I don't know what we would've done without my aunt that summer...
I know that getting laid off and finding out you have cancer is a pretty horrible situation, and it seems silly to try and find the silver lining here. I also know that the universe's provisions in this instance didn't cure cancer and give anyone's job back. But I have to believe that it wasn't a coincidence that my mother lost her job at a time when she would absolutely not be able to work anyway, or that my aunt suddenly had all the time in the world to come and help us. The universe provided. We just didn't see it at first.
I could go on and on about other instances when this has occurred. But the point I'm trying to make is that reflecting on hard times and finding the reasons why things happened in your past can bring hope to your life in the present/future. When you have to keep asking yourself, "how the heck is this going to work?" or "what am I going to do?" over and over again, try letting the universe provide. It may not give you what you expect, but know that it's probably happening for a reason.
So give it a try! Or don't. Feel free to share your experiences in the comment section below. Thanks for listening.