We are by nature self-centered.  It’s a survival mechanism.  The world is neither dangerous nor safe, but if we don’t look where we’re driving or drive where we’re looking bad things can happen.  So you can think of it more as self-preservation rather than self-centeredness, but this necessity skews our perceptions of the world as does the fact that we are discreet entities inside bodies.  So there is a bright dividing line between ‘me’ and ‘not me’.

So when things happen in our lives our first thought is ‘Why did this happen?’ followed closely by ‘What does this mean to me?’ or its cousin ‘Why did this happen to me?’  Always good questions to ask and an examined life leads to a richer live on average.  However, this slant on our questions, the assumption in our perceptions can lead us to miss something obvious:  It’s not about us.

Clients ask me “What am I supposed to learn from ________?”  And the first thing I look for is if it’s actually a lesson for them.  It’s about 50/50.  Many times the situation they are asking about (accident/family of origin difficulties/significant other event) wasn’t about them at all.  They were affected by it, they may have agreed to it if it was a preplanned event, but half the time they are involved because they are supporting the learning of the other person(s) in the event.  Or the event happened due to a converging of various actions and decisions which weren’t meant to end in this way.  Basically, it was an accident.  It wasn’t planned and that’s what happens with Free Will.  Sometimes the butterfly wings in China really do affect things and random stuff does happen.  That’s part of the magic we come here to experience.  If everything was preplanned and we were just marionettes going through the motions, why would we agree to come here?

So when things happen and you want to know the reasons why, step back from your normal perspective.  Start by asking who this event was actually about. Was it you, the other person, a combination, or neither?  We learn from every experience we have, but not all of them are life lessons.  Sometimes we survive our parents because they need to learn how to be better parents, not because we have some life lesson about surviving them.  Sometimes people are taken out of our lives, not because the contract was ended, but because events took them out of this embodied life before they were ready.  Sometimes things end or things begin because we are entering into a new phase of life.  They aren’t signals that something grand has happened, they are opportunities we are choosing to take up because of who we are.

We are responsible for ourselves and our choices and it’s good to examine life to find the meaning in events.  In fact, it can be essential.  But not all events are lessons, not all events are pointed directly at us, and sometimes a cigar is just a cigar.