Professional Student of Life
Adventures in personal growth
July: Miracles and Adventures
An adventure is only an inconvenience rightly considered. An inconvenience is only an adventure wrongly considered. ~ G.K. Chesterton
I missed posting last month, as life intervened with quite a few adventures… mostly positive, but also some that were very inconvenient! Chief among the latter was leaving my phone and wallet on the roof of the car when getting gas in Montana, and then having both run over multiple times before a kind stranger picked them up off the road and tracked me down several states over. An adventure I would rather not have had, but it’s led to quite a few realizations and a great opportunity to practice “radical acceptance.”
It was interesting for me to watch my own reactions when I became aware that my wallet/phone were definitely not in the car, and then backtracked through my actions to the conclusion that I had made the ultimate careless mistake. There is panic, quite a bit of self-castigation, and then the inevitable inner wail: Why me?? It’s never really convenient to break a $600 iphone, is it?
But I take this spiritual growth thing seriously, and one of my central tenets is that everything that happens is the perfect vehicle for waking up. So in a relatively short amount of time (at least, compared to how I would have done it in the past) I decided to drop the story about how this shouldn’t have happened and just deal with the reality that it had. The events in our lives are really just neutral. We give them their significance by the stories we attach to them: we crave the ones we label good and reject the ones we label bad, but how do we really know?
One good thing that came to me through this adventure was just the opportunity to practice the attitude of acceptance. Another was the kindness and decency of a stranger who promptly mailed my things without touching the $100 bill in my wallet, even after I invited him to take the money as a reward (or at least to pay for postage). A third was the realization that a cheaper phone is all that I really need or want. I never figured out how to use all the bells and whistles on my iphone anyway, so why did I bother? More and more I’m realizing that possessions are more of a burden and worry than an enhancement to my life. I’m moving toward a life of fewer possessions and greater freedom, and this experience was a welcome confirmation of that.
My biggest takeaway is simply to be open to the miracles and adventures that surround me everyday, and to allow them to come in any form they choose to take!
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