Over the last two months I have experienced a ton of things that are out of my control.
In life we try to control almost everything. We live life planning, saving, striving, and trying to get all our ducks in a row all the time. While this can be responsibly and have benefits, at the end of the day, we are in control of next to nothing.
At the start of summer, my Honda Civic, which is suppose to be one of the best cars on the road, decided to self destruct. I take care of my cars. I do the maintenance. For some reason the engine on this car decided to kamikaze in about 24 hours.
When we took it to the shop when it was acting funny, they literally were unsure on what was happening as well. All we learned was that the oil had managed to fully leave the car with no leaks essentially. It’s like the oil did a magic trick and ended up all over the under body and destroying everything. I had zero control over this.
In these situations, you always have a choice. You can become a person of acceptance and move forward or you can be a person of resistance.
The only thing you can control in life is how you react to what life hands you.
You get to pick if you want to view the universe as for you or against you. Before you can do that, you have to land on whether or not you view life as a chance to learn, grow, and become whole or as a place that is out to get you.
I grew up with a view of the world being evil. With it being full of bad things, bad people, that it was all going to burn. This shapes your view a lot in how you deal with things when they happen to you.
My old view would have been looking at my car engine self destruction as some omen. As a bit of a superstition and “why me” situation. That I was maybe being attacked by the world. This view when said out loud seems fairly childish. It also sets us up to always view the world as a scarce, negative place.
When the engine when out, we had no car. I work from my studio at home, so my wife and I share a car. My friends came quickly to our side to offer their car. I was reminded quickly of how much we need each other and also how our weaknesses are here to bring us into community. I had no control over my friends either. The whole situation was out of my control. There was such beauty though in the community that was created by our engine blowing out. It was a reminder of how great my friends are and also how I am always taken care of.
A few weeks later, I got hit by a car on the highway. Not me physically, but my car. This was fully out of my control. I literally was in my lane just driving and a car swerved over and slammed into me. It was scary. It was not as bad as it sounds, but it still was fully out of my control. I could have viewed this as a double dose of evil coming after me. First the engine went out, then I got hit. I accepted this as just another thing in life to teach me something. What did I learn? Sometimes accidents happen and I was quickly reminded of how precious life is.
Shortly after the Fourth of July, my wife and I woke up to people banging on our front door screaming. It was about 11 p.m. and they were trying to get us out of our house as our back shed had caught on fire. A rogue firework from somewhere in the neighborhood most likely started it. The fire fighters came and put it out over a couple hours. The shed and all my tools are gone. In a matter of an hour, it was melted, and burnt. This was once again fully out of my control.
This summer has been full of one thing after the next.
Within all of this, everything that happened has nothing to do with if I am a good or bad person. It has nothing to do with anything I have done. It was all out of my control. I didn’t deserve it - no one deserves any of that ever.
Life is out of our control. Think about it. Rarely does it have anything to do with us. The only way to approach life and what it tosses at you is to embrace it, accept it, and ask it a question back.
What is there to learn here?
Every situation can be a learning moment. A time for growth. Anytime there is growth there is usually some sort of new life. This new life always makes things feel new, fresh, different and is what makes life actually real and enjoyable.
My view of these things has only become this way from lots of mental training. Years of healing, and seeking out wisdom of others who have been through way more then a car accident and a fire. My challenge to you, is to view life as a one big time to learn. That all the bad and good isn’t based on your actions. You are already enough. Things happen to good people and bad people. It’s amazing more doesn’t go “wrong” when you think about the fact that we spin in space everyday. Life is fragile yet we are to hold it with open hands. It makes things all the more precious but also less intense.
I challenge you to observe what is happening to you instead of trying to control it this week.
You may just find yourself having the best week of your life. Things that may have held you back or made you feel like the world was out to get you, will begin to fade. They will lose thier intensity and all that is left is acceptance. If you can live your life with acceptance, you will find peace in all situations.
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