Prompt: What was the best moment that could serve as proof that everything is going to be alright? And how will you incorporate that discovery into the year ahead?
A few years ago I got “the call” that no parent wants to receive. One of my children had a brush with the law. That same day I learned that the IRS had taken every cent out of my company bank account. Yes, the same day.
I did not have the spiritual strength I needed to deal with it until a friend reminded me of this passage from Baha’u’llah.
I swear by My life! Nothing save that which profiteth them can befall My loved ones. ~Baha’u’llah
This assurance shocked me at first. Eventually it comforted me, realizing that nothing in the ULTIMATE sense can hurt any of us.
In the long run, we’re all dead*
What’s the worst thing that can happen to me? Die? That’s inevitable. I talked about this in my hour-long interview on WFAE- Charlotte Talks 10-19-10.
I believe what happens between now and the day that I die is designed to prepare me for the non-mortal life ahead. There, I believe I’ll exist as a constellation of virtues and character assets. Here’s a list of character assets I strengthened in the wake of my personal and business meltdown:
- Humility. A friend of mine told me that if you beat yourself up for a failing business, you probably gave yourself too much credit for its success when times were good. Life is a wheel of fortune — sometimes you’re on the rise, and other times on the decline. Nothing lasts forever. Deal with it.
- Detachment. With all four walls of my life caving in I had to learn to “Let go, let God.” I didn’t have the financial , legal or emotional resources to do much of anything else, so I reminded myself of the Four Agreements and watched the walls collapse. I accepted that people were entitled to their judgments, I accepted some social scorn, and then lifted my sights to what I wanted to do with my life from that moment on. The moment of leverage is NOW, not in the past or future.
- Forbearance. Being so humbled, I now try to be less judgmental of others in their choices and circumstances. There is, of course, a difference between being a door mat to the cunning and being gracious to the feckless and unfortunate. Balance in all things.
The tangible proof that everything’s OK came this year as I’ve been fully able to share my story with others. I see it as a service and it has been received as such. People have been gracious, overall.
And how I plan to use it in the coming year? By reminding myself and others of Fortuna’s Wheel.
*JM Keynes, Economist