There is a difference between experiencing a sequence of events around excessive heat (someone turns the oven on and leaves it over night, the thermostat goes all out rather than turning things off, the car overheats suddenly and you’re stuck by the side of the road, someone puts Habaneros in the salad by mistake) and constantly putting your fingers on the hot burner you are cooking with.  One is probably a message or a lesson, something in the universe trying to get your attention and point you in the right direction.  The other is you trying to teach yourself a lesson and not getting very far in the process.

The key is to look at where the source or the initiation point is for the events. This can be tricky but in general, if it’s something that is coming at you from the external world, then it’s probably some kind of communication.  In spiritual terms, it’s probably a lesson of some kind and the question “What should I learn from this?” can yield a ton of information and lead you down a significant section of your path in life. If the source is something you’re doing over and over again, yes there’s a lesson to be learned, but it’s not coming from some authority, it’s home grown. We don’t say that a child needs to learn a lesson because they trip over the same bump in the sidewalk every day, we say they need to pick up their feet or pay attention where they are walking.  We don’t say there’s some grand message to be learned from having picked up too many things and have some of them fall back out of our arms, we (hopefully) figure out that we need to slow down, make multiple trips, stack things better, consolidate, etc.

Both situations teach us. We’re here to learn not only about the bigger picture, but also to learn about our specific picture. We’re here to figure out not only where we fit and what our purpose is in being here, but also to navigate actually being here.  Because it doesn’t matter what the purpose is for why we’ve purchased the car we have if we aren’t able to drive it or we wreck it the first day. So, as the wise saying goes “Drive where you’re looking or look where you’re driving.”  You’re one of the wisest and most succinct teachers you have. Prioritize the day-to-day lessons a little more and the big lessons will start falling into place.