One of the things I’ve noticed in myself as well as my students and clients is that we look for meaning in the events of our lives as if the meaning is fully contained in the discreet event.  For example: why did I get into a relationship with X?  What was I meant to learn from that?     So we look at that event and try to find meaning.  We may see it in relation to other intimate relationships we’ve had, but for the most part we look at it as if it’s a novel with a discreet beginning/middle/end and try to find the moral of the story.

But we’re aren’t the sum of discrete stories.  We have greater narrative arcs going on and the event we’re looking at, while it more than likely does have a meaning in the discreet view, probably has more when you look through the long-term lens.  Perhaps this event was part of a more complicated or detailed narrative that was going on in your life.  Perhaps he/she had a piece to a puzzle that you were working on or had something you needed to get you further along on your path?  Perhaps that 20 years you spent deeply involved in a religion you no longer find supportive of your path gave you skills and perspectives and wisdom that you are now using to fulfill your true purpose here.  So it wasn’t a detour or a wrong turn, but an apprenticeship that is now allowing you to practice your chosen spirituality completely and satisfactorily.

It can be hard to look at the things that we do and that happen in our lives and even harder to separate them out from the narratives we have been given or we have constructed for ourselves at the time.  Sometimes it takes someone else looking at the events to show us a different story that winds through them.  It’s worth it though.  In fact, you just might find some redemption and grace in there if you get still and look.  🙂