Did I Choose This?

mary o'malleyMary O’Malley – There is a powerful quote from Eckhart Tolle that I have kept close to my heart over the years:

“Whatever the present moment contains, accept it as if you had chosen it. Always work with it, not against it. Make it your friend and ally, not your enemy. This will miraculously transform your whole life.”

Now, if you are like me, my first reaction to this idea that I had chosen the experiences of my life, especially the difficult ones, was, “Heck no! I didn’t choose the abuse in my childhood, or a head on automobile accident, or my house and store burning to the ground, or my child getting cancer twice.” In fact, I wanted to give life the finger!

But as I sat with what Eckhart was saying, it began to dawn on me the healing power of this idea.  No, we never can really prove that we have chosen the experiences of our lives and we can debate endlessly who is the ‘you’ he is talking about when he says, ‘you had chosen it.’  But the healing doesn’t come from trying to prove or disprove it or figure out who is doing the choosing. It comes from the shift of perception this idea brings.

If you allow it deep into your heart, it invites you to move beyond being a victim to your life.  Rather than life happening to you, and you must endlessly try to manage it, you move into the empowerment of life happening for you.  You are less inclined to struggle with life and more willing to be curious and investigate whatever life is bringing you. Or, as Eckhart says, “Work with it, not against it.”

Now, making your challenges your friend and ally has a bit of a learning curve because it is embedded in our conditioning to resist what we don’t like and try to get to what we do like (life is happening to you).  But has this way brought you lasting peace?

Instead, Eckhart is inviting you to let go of arguing with life and engage with it instead.  Making this shift of perception is a little like learning how to ride a bike. At the beginning, the ride is a bit wobbly and it is easier to fall down and skin your knee.  But, as you work with what Eckhart is offering, the wobbles will go away and the thrill of riding the ‘bike of life’ will be worth every bit of exploring it took to live this shift.  Or, as he says at the end of the quote, “This will miraculously transform your whole life.”

SF Source Mary O’Malley Mar 2019

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