November 15, 2014

The Annoying Persistence of the Universe.


The universe is annoyingly persistent in its attempt to move us towards growth.

From the moment we are pushed forcibly out of the womb and into this world, we begin resisting it.

We cry, curl up in a fetal position, and even refuse to open our eyes at the time of birth. It is scary, overwhelming, and extremely bright compared to where we were minutes before. Everything has changed and we have been thrown out from our nest of safety and security, like new-born baby birds nudged by their mother’s beak, preparing for flight.

So we grow up, learn how to crawl, walk, eat and speak. Then we take it upon ourselves to forge a path and live on with the accumulated wisdom of our years thus far. We go to school, work, and find a way to keep the bill collectors at bay, all the while feeling like we have accomplished something.

And yet that feeling of resistance still lures its relentless head. There is far more important internal work to be done which we have not even dipped a strand of our hair into. Why? What is it we are resisting? What is it we are so afraid of?

We are afraid to echo that first moment and face it again—our introduction to this world, the thrust into a space that could no longer hold us up the way we were held in our mother’s cocoon. We can no longer float; the earth’s gravitational pull is too strong, too harsh on our wings. We are resisting life…we are afraid of our own birth.

The universe, in all its mysterious wonder and awe, knows this. It watches us, from the time of our creation to the point at which we cease to breathe, with curiosity, delight and pity, as we make our way around the alleys of our life.

But, alas, the universe is not merely a bystander, simply cheering us on or grieving our losses. It is an energy force directing our growth. The universe was designed in part to maneuver our steps so we may come to realize our greatest potential. It lays out a path for us, keeping in mind the necessary cultivation of our hearts, souls and minds for the benefit of all. The attention it gives to the evolution of every single one of us is extraordinary. How could we ever think to take it upon ourselves to design our lives when a wisdom greater than us waits, patiently, to take over?

Now comes the part about “annoyingly persistent.” I may think I can outsmart the universe and bypass the whole “growing” (spiritually) part of my life by avoiding it or faking it for a while. I admit, I’m an ‘Avoider’ with a capital A. If I can find a way to avoid something, like arguing, confrontations, small talk, telling the truth when it’s hard, responsibility, hard work, or whatever…I will. Whatever causes me a lot of anxiety, I will avoid rather than face. But that’s a whole other post for another day.

My point is that I can’t fool the universe, no matter what tactic I devise. Sure I can go on avoiding, but opportunities for growth hit me in the face almost daily, even hourly at times! Like last weekend, I saw someone at the store that I did not want to make small talk with, so I went down another aisle in order to avoid this person. But sure enough, they showed up as I made my way to the cashier, walking directly towards me.

The universe has a clever sense of humor I’m sure, but I was not laughing…I was annoyed. Because at this point in my life I know exactly what I need to work on (i.e. in a nutshell—to stop avoiding!), but I avoid it…so when the universe comes knocking and shoving its opportunities in my face (okay that was a bit harsh…I’m sure it doesn’t mean to “shove”), I am a bit, annoyed. It won’t let me off the hook; it won’t let anyone off the hook, so long as they are breathing and conscious.

Every encounter with another human being is an invitation from the universe to become better. We are offered countless chances to try again, to reach for and embody the best version of ourselves. We are here in preparation for a better tomorrow; we exist to be molded into our highest selves. After numerous attempts to resist and avoid, I have come to understand and truly believe that our purpose here on earth is this.

We are carrying the trauma of birth that we faced with us throughout our lives, resisting and at the same time searching for healing. The universe aids us in resolving this paradox. By opening ourselves up to the opportunities for growth that lie on our doorstep, we can begin to heal. But the inner journey does not end there…for in our recovery we find that we are made for more. We are made for brilliance. We learn that we can not only face that first moment again where we are thrust into this world, but we can move past it without resisting. Our wings emerge once more for we are made to soar, despite gravity’s clutch.

I leave you with a quote to reflect on by Marianne Williamson, one of my favorite spiritual teachers:

“We’re all assigned a piece of the garden, a corner of the universe that is ours to transform. Our corner of the universe is our own life – our relationships, our homes, our work, our current circumstances—exactly as they are.”

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Author: Anokina Shahbaz

Editor: Travis May

Photo: 2001: Space Odyssey, Movie Still

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