When Your Life Goes Off The Rails

It doesn’t take a whole lot of effort to see that many people’s lives are “off the rails.”  The folks in Gatlinburg lost their homes, all of the folks on the Colombian flight except for 5, lost their lives, and not to mention the reactions of so many post election.

I think we all have places in our lives where we feel “off the rails.”  Maybe it shows up in our relationships or work.  Maybe it shows up trying to close the gap between where we are and where we want to be.   “Off the rails”, to me, simply means that we are misperceiving our present circumstances and we are in a certain level of discomfort because it.

I recently watched a documentary on Mahatma Gandhi.  And then I watched one Rosa Parks.  And then I ended up watching another one on Martin Luther King.  I was on a roll.  All of these amazing people went through incredible adversity.  But they all did the same thing with it . . . they saw an opportunity in the midst of their pain.

Do you know who Bethany Hamilton is?  She is a world class surfer.  At the age of 13 she went through a near fatal attack by a great white shark.  Her life was sparred but her arm was amputated.  One month later she is back in the water competing at nationals.  Guess what.  She wins the competition . . . with one arm!!

Remember Christopher Reeve?  He was paralyzed from the neck down from a horse accident.  Did you know that just before he passed, and with a lot of assistance, he was able to take two very small steps in a swimming pool?  It’s in his book titled,Nothing Is Impossible.    It’s definitely worth the read.
My point is . . . what do you personally do with adversity?  What do you do when your life seems like a total mess?  And maybe it’s just one area and not the whole of your life.  Either way, how do you embrace it?  Are you able to have the presence of mind to know that there is an extraordinary opportunity that lies within your heartache, grief, and pain?

You may not know what it is or even how it could be possible.  You just simply trust that the opportunity is there.  And if you hang in there long enough with yourself, the miracle will present itself to you. 

It’s not hard to see the common theme among these people I’ve mentioned.   They all faced extraordinary challenges.  And yet, they reached for extraordinary miracles.  We talk so much about “remembering who you are.”  And that is great.  But sometimes I can’t help but wonder what the hell does that mean.

When I read or watch stories like that, it dawns on me “Oh!  That’s what it means.”  I remember who I am every time I go within and find the miracle that is sown in the fabric of adversity with no guarantee that it will work out like I hope.   
Remembering who I am means when I am hurting, I hold to the truth that I am also growing.  When I am scared, I remember that I live in an abundant Universe.  And when I want to run like hell, I can stop, be still, and know that all is well . . . even when it’s not. 

Sometimes when our lives go off the rails, it takes a little longer to catch our breath than other times.  That is okay.  Growth is infinite and it is patient.  As long as we remain proactive and committed to practicing our spiritual principals – forgiveness, acceptance, surrender, asking for help, letting go, etc., we are assured that transformation will always find us and restore us back on track.   

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