Times of Expansion

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Seeker, when you feel you soul contracting know it is for your own good. Allow not your heart to burn with grief. In times of expansion you spend and this expenditure requires an income of painful soul searching – Rumi

In todays class at the mission, our program director shared his personal story. He then split the class into two groups with each group lead by two mentors. The mentors were encouraged to share their stories of struggles and how it had helped them accomplish things in their life. As I gathered my group around me and we settled in, I was unsure of if any of the kids would want to share in front of a big group. To my surprise they started sharing right away. What surprised me even more was that there was more than one kid who was going through situations very similar to what I had been through at their age. In that moment I felt, ” this is why you needed to be here doing this so you can tell them your story and lift them up.” and that’s exactly what I did.

But sitting there listening to them, thinking about what I had just told them and also listening to my fellow mentor, I felt –

Everyone goes through difficult situations. Some more than others, pain and suffering is inevitable. But guess what? Change is the law of life. The one thing that is constant in anybody’s life is change. When we are going through rough times it feels like the longest days of our lives. We feel dragged down, frustrated, feel stuck and wonder if things are going to change at all. But sooner or later times change and something else comes along.

I used to think that once I had money, steady job, a nice place to live, a nice car to drive I would be fine. But that didn’t happen for a long long time. I went through rough patches followed by some more and then some more. At times I would be down and plead in desperation to no one in particular ” please leave me alone. give me a break” and at times I would yell out “this is BS. I have been through so much already I don’t care anymore. Bring it on”. But all along I was discovering the hidden riches in me – will power, courage, determination, incredible strength, the ability to overcome challenges and bounce back quickly perhaps because  I wasn’t afraid. I had endured so much already fear was not even a factor anymore and I suppose that allowed me to focus on problem solving rather than get stuck in that situation. I grew rich in wisdom, spirituality and  empathy for others . I let go of anger, self pity, and subjecting myself to misery by overthinking and over analyzing  the situation. I grew strong in my faith that things were going to get better, that I was and will be fine, and that I will come out of the situation better than before.

I stopped thinking the universe was out to get me. Instead I saw every challenge as an opportunity (time for expansion as Rumi says) for self growth, for opening up new doors. My experiences have taught me that I may have plans but life has its own plans for me and things happen that I hadn’t anticipated at all. I became more open minded and embraced change with a quiet inner knowing that things will work out and fall into place, I need to go with the flow. Every step of the way I would look back and reflect on my life and I would see all the treasures I had uncovered along the way and that strengthened my focus and my desire to keep pushing forward. I don’t regret any of the trials I faced because they have made me the person I am today. Rumi, you are right. I didn’t get to be this way until I had searched my soul, recognized my weaknesses and had the courage to change myself. No one could have possibly done that for me. I had to look deep within, take responsibility for my life,my behavior, how I handled challenges, coped with stress, grief, and overcame them.

And boy am I glad I did that. I not only survived the most difficult period in my life I prospered and now I am still stepping out in faith, sharing my story and inspiring others.

 

©2015, Vani Murthy. All rights reserved

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