Have you ever tried bargaining with the Universe?
Or try to strike a deal with god or some higher power, wherein you asked for such and such in exchange for such and such? I have.
A few years ago in the middle of what felt like a personal life crisis, I pleaded with the Universe to bring clarity to my life, to open “the pathways that would have me live my greatest potential for joy.”
Of course when I made that request, crumpled on my bedroom floor in the deepest suffering I have yet known, I had given up doing things “my way”, and was open to whatever might come. I had had enough of the struggle. I just surrendered.
In that moment it felt like a new beginning had been birthed. Through the following weeks I paid close attention to invitations that came up, to new connections I made, or to anything that felt like it might expand my experience. Life was suddenly fresh! I felt alive. I was hungry for discovery and I was eager about exploring the world around me.
Then, somewhere along the way, among the immense ocean of possibilities welcoming me, I became fixated on just one particular pathway.
How often do we find ourselves here? Fixated.
We find someone we can’t seem to get enough of, or we experience an event that shifts our paradigm of life so significantly, that we cannot imagine participating in anything else for a while. In this way, my focus, intention, and energy all began to funnel into that one direction.
Eventually this growing level of interest, matured into a full blown expectation. Suddenly, I thought I knew what “my greatest potential for joy” now meant— and it was with this one person, and it looked this one particular way. The universe would have to grant me that request now, right? Well, not so fast.
I didn’t realize it at the time, but clinging to this outcome essentially shut down my availability to the mounting opportunities and invitations that continued to come my way. I was no longer able to see them. My gaze had been fixed elsewhere.
When this particular outcome continued to be interrupted, overlooked, disregarded and eventually came to an end—I was left confused, disappointed and pleading for clarity again. How could it have all gone so wrong? I wondered.
But I was wiser this time around. I started meditating regularly. I sat with my disappointments and questions. I let the feelings rise and fall, and watched them all move through.
I slowly learned to let go of the outcome I had fixated on, as though everything wonderful in my life hinged on that one experience being fulfilled. Truth is, it doesn’t. It never did.
You see, the Universe shows up in our lives day after day, moment after moment, and breath after breath. We are always right here, available for life to unfold exactly as it is. What if nothing really ever went wrong?
So, how can we open our hearts back up to possibility, after disappointment, heartache, or loss?
How do we begin to allow harmony, joy and peace back into our awareness?
Perhaps it is in continually asking ourselves questions, instead of fixating on just one of the answers.
What if the life we are living actually is our greatest potential for joy?
What if the missing component in our bargaining, is our responsibility to bring to the Universe? It always delivers an infinite supply, what are we maybe not seeing?
What if we showed up to our own lives, with our greatest potential, alive and flourishing?
What might we find if we allowed this joy to permeate everything we do, and to touch everyone we turn our attention toward?
Where might we find openings to bring joy to the people we love, and thus to ourselves?
Love elephant and want to go steady?
Editor: Bryonie Wise
Photo: elephant archives