During times of challenge or struggle, when things don’t seem to be working out, I’ve found this saying to be a particularly empowering reminder “life happens for us and not to us”. Notice how it feels different when you say ‘for’ instead of ‘to’. ‘For’ tends to feel open, like there’s some possibility or chance, whereas ‘to’ tends to feel closed and trapped, like we are a victim.
As human beings, we are growing and evolving creatures amidst the ebbs and flows of life. Just like any game, things are never static or the same and if we can learn to play along, then we can be free to enjoy more of the ride. Inherent in accepting that life is ‘for’ us, is also trusting that it will present us with every-thing and every-one that we need to learn, to grow and to reach our fullest, happiest potential. So how does this happen? If we take any life situation involving another person who we feel is wronging us, there is the golden opportunity for self-learning and moving forwards with greater freedom and joy. We do this by letting go of the ‘he said, she said, he did, she did’ story, tempting though it may be to get stuck there.
We accept the person and circumstances are just as they need to be, although this might be hard, we can do it! And we take a deeper, honest look at our own reactions and what is being revealed about ourselves, to uncover the true learning potential. The learning might be the opportunity to practice patience, or to be compassionate, to reconnect with our own tender feelings of past hurt or perhaps to establish greater self-love and self-confidence. When we can take this approach to life, we open to something deeper, to an energy or essence within us, that feels more at ease, free, content and peaceful that if we were to remain at the level of blame and victim.
Just like the wise poet Rumi says: “Be grateful for whatever comes, because each has been sent as a guide from beyond.”