This was a quote from one of my spiritual teachers this past weekend during a workshop I attended. It perfectly captures what I have been increasingly feeling the past couple of months. Whatever is currently happening in your life, whether good or bad, is ultimately for your highest good.
Safety isn’t what we think it is. We think safety is a relationship, or perfect health, or the right job, enough money in our bank accounts, and an environment devoid of violence. And while I wish for all of those things for both myself and for you, I am realizing there is a deeper kind of safety, a more permanent safety that comes from our connection to Soul.
When we base our sense of safety on an external source, whether it be other people or things, we are constantly living in a state of fear. Relationships and jobs can always end. People can always leave. Money can come and go. When we need external things to feel secure, we have to constantly try and make sure those things are always present. We want the relationship to continue, the job to stay the same, and our bank accounts to reflect a certain number. And there is nothing wrong with that desire. We only run into trouble when we need our external environment to go unchanged so we can feel ok.
The reality of this world, and of our Souls, is that we are constantly changing. Change is the one guarantee in life. Sometimes change feels great, sometimes not so great.
I have just emerged from a five year period of incredible change. I’ve moved eight times, had many relationships, saw many relationships end, had many job changes, had health challenges, nearly lost a parent, and saw several people close to me pass away. It has been a very challenging five years. But what I have found, is that the more my external environment has been shaken and rocked, the more I have been forced to find safety inside. When my external environment has let me down or disappointed me, I have been forced to move into a sense of stability based on myself and my trust in my life. Luckily (though not always pleasantly), I have had to let go of trying to control what was happening in my life.
I’ve had to move from fear about the future, to relishing what is happening in this moment, right now. I can now feel a sense of safety in my body that is independent of my circumstances. I am now clearly aware that whatever comes is going to be good for me. It may not feel good at the time, but in the end, I am a better, stronger, and ultimately, happier person as a result of both the gifts and challenges life brings. These past five years have shown me that as long as you use your life to uplift yourself, life will always be good. You will always come out on top – wiser, happier, and more stable inside.
As life goes on, we have a choice. We can build on that sense of internal safety, or to try and control our lives more and more. Many of us have learned that as we try and control more, life just keeps shaking us until we eventually surrender. And I will tell you, when we do eventually give in and surrender to where life wants to take us, it feels so damn good. When we learn to ride the surfboard instead of control the waves, we get to actually have some fun.