Almost everyone wants more out of Life. But sometimes in Life, nothing seems to work! When nothing works, miracles will! Miracles happen not when you want them, but when you need them. Miracles don’t happen from your logic, they happen from the Universe’s magic. Not through rituals and mumbo-jumbo and god-men or god-women but from complete, total surrender to the Universe. They happen from letting go. They happen when you get out of Life’s way and allow Life to lead you the way!
Someone I know told me his Life’s story a few years back. He had lost everything in Life. His most recent marriage too had ended in a divorce, with the court granting his wife much of his estate. His business had suffered owing to the protracted legal proceedings. His children from an earlier marriage too had staked claim to his estate. They too had got what was left through the court settlement. His partner of several years had schemed and finally forced him to sell out his stake in the business ‘as-is-where-is’. He had barely got a few months’ survival costs out of that deal. That too had run out and all he had was about 200 pounds with him one morning in March! He was staying with a friend. He woke up, left a note for his friend, who was still asleep, and took a cab to the nearest rent-a-car service centre in East London. He hired a car for two hours but paid for five with the money he had. He just had enough to buy himself a burger and a Starbucks Coffee. He started driving out of London. He told himself he would drive as far as the gas in his rented car took him. He would step out where the car stopped and find a way, then and there, to end his Life! “I didn’t see a point living anymore. Nobody loved me. I had no money. And I was old, 58! I thought what was the big idea in struggling with a Life I didn’t want,” recalled my friend. So, when his car sputtered to a stop on an incline, en route up a small hill, he stepped out and walked up to the hill top. He managed to get to edge of a precipice that lay waiting for him. It was easily a 50 feet drop to a hard, rocky, certain death, he thought, as he surveyed the ‘last mile’ or so of his Life! He looked up at the sky. And noticed it was dark and cloudy. He spent several minutes staring at the clouds __ and wondered if there really was any silver lining in any of them. He thought all that he had gained, lost, learned and unlearned in Life. He confessed his mistakes to himself. And, in a ‘subconscious act of benevolence’, he thanked the Universe for what had been a tumultuous but eventful Life. It was then that he realized it was raining. Not heavily. But just so. He started enjoying the rain and told himself that since this was the last rain he would ever feel, he might as well wait for it to stop and relish every moment of being drenched in it. He closed his eyes and focused on each rain drop that fell on him. There was a certain beauty and a rhythm with which they fell, he noticed. Soon, he thought he heard music from the falling rain. It was like a very soothing Jazz piece, from his favorite, Louis Armstrong. Soon the music ended. And he could feel the rain no more. He opened his eyes believing that it was time he jumped without any more ado. When he opened his eyes, there, in front of him, where only gloomy, dark clouds had loomed large less than an hour ago, he saw the most beautiful rainbow ever! “I thought it was a rainbow created only for me! And if the Universe was creating such a miracle for me, I realized I had no business taking my Life which too the Universe, creation, whatever, had ‘given’ me. How could I take something which wasn’t even mine,” he recounted. He took a deep breath. He walked back to the road, hitched a ride. And decided to live a new Life! He has since rebuilt his business, mended his relationships with his children, and lives Life to the fullest. What would have been the end of a sob story, continues to inspire!
When I heard him tell this story, my own Life was filled with darkness. His story gave me an opportunity to understand the magical quality of Life. I too, just like you perhaps, have come to such moments of complete hopelessness. Many, many times! I have learned, each time, that Life’s best when we don’t come in Life’s way! The truth is Life is playing a game with each of us. And since this Life has not been given to us because we asked for it, and since it is only a gift, we must not look a gift horse in the mouth. Our games and the rules are different__and unique to each of us. Metaphorically, each of us has been given a unique version of, let us say, ‘Angry Birds’. The rules vary and the levels of difficulty vary. It gets tougher as we start playing the game better. Every conquest of a new level is an ‘aha’ moment! Just as with a game, if you can’t crack a difficult level, flinging the phone or the iPad, in frustration, isn’t going to help, there’s no point absolutely getting angry with Life! Life has to be met, played with diligently and learned from daily. As you learn to play your Life’s game better, your level of difficulty may well increase, but as you let go and get out of Life’s way, you will see the beauty and magic in it!
Getting in Life’s way is something that we all do all the time. Not that we succeed. But our vanity, our ego, wants us to solve the problems that Life has placed in front of us. This is when despondency and depression sets in. This is when you feel you can go on no more. This is precisely when you must learn to get out of Life’s way! That’s only when you will get more out of Life too!
No matter what you are dealing with right now, learn to enjoy and feel the rain. Or if it isn’t raining yet, simply open your window and let some fresh air caress you. Hear the music of Life. Dwell in the beauty of that irreplaceable moment. Watch yourself coming alive. Witness a rainbow brighten up your Life. Your rainbow may well be a bird chirping, a dew drop falling or a child smiling on the bus. That moment of magic, that reaffirmation that Life’s beautiful, despite the circumstances you find yourself in, is your miracle!
Here’s hoping you get out of Life’s way and get more out of it this Sunday!