Sometimes when it rains, it pours.
Then sometimes it rains some more and the whole city floods.
And here we are.
In the unfortunate wake of hurricanes Harvey, Irma, and Maria, amidst the threat of nuclear annihilation, during the largest displacement crisis in history, and with an almost constant newsfeed of terror attacks, hate crimes, and Twitter battles, it would be understandable to ask, “How the heck is everything alright?!”
Oh, and how could I forget the unique microcosms each of us inhabit filled with bills to pay, deadlines to meet, and tables to fill with food.
Right…so just how is everything alright?
Well, because it is—and here’s proof of why.
Picture for a moment the surface of the sun. This place, where no organic, carbon-based organisms could survive, is one of the most hostile and violent environments in the galaxy. A slight shift would mean the end of life on Earth. Yet each day the sun rises and sets without so much as an eye blinked in its direction.
Everything is alright.
At any point, an asteroid could pummel our humble blue planet.
Everything is alright.
My rent is past due, my boss is threatening to fire me, and my family won’t speak to me.
Everything is alright.
Everything is alright is less a statement of fact (because let’s face it, sometimes things really don’t feel alright) and more a statement of intention and choice.
When a situation seems so unbearable, so unthinkable, or so unrecoverable, asserting with faith (discerned from experience) that “everything is alright,” has the power to become the new reality in which one lives, despite the circumstances. The knowledge that everything is or will be alright, gives us the ability to see the light at the end of the tunnel, and the strength to keep going.
This mantra brings the clarity of mind that arises out of peace and certainty in the heart; when we believe something to be true, it becomes true in our world.
This should not be mistaken for a remedial cure for a present situation or a “get out of jail free card.” Believing that everything is alright will not make your boss any less demanding, it will not pay the mortgage for you, and it will not heal the sick. What is available, however, is peace, possibility, and the freedom of choice. When we can see that there are options available to us, we can re-establish dominion over our present experience. Do we choose to feel the incapacitation of fear, or the motivating courage of compassion? Do we relate to our overbearing boss as a scary tyrant who could disrupt our livelihood, or as a troubled and miserable soul who could probably use a hug or listening ear?
When the world can be viewed through a peaceful and accepting frame of mind, there is a natural openness and availability that arises. And it is with openness and availability that the possibilities, options, and choices we have in any given moment can appear and make themselves known, thus granting a sort of internal freedom—by placing us back in the driver’s seat of our experience.
Everything in the universe, every being, object, and event, irrespective of its apparent “goodness” or “badness,” belongs as it is, wherever it is. The universe would be incomplete without such things. Each individual point of existence is perfect simply because it came to pass; it arose and was called forth out of nothingness to fill a role, purpose, or place. And it is then us, who in our responses, actually create the apparent “goodness,” “badness,” “celebration,” “tragedy,” and so on, of the moment, object, or situation. Everything just is, until we assign it deeper meaning, and the meanings we assign ultimately dictate the levels of freedom, joy, and happiness available to us.
So that fiery, explosive, violent ball of nuclear fusion that could wipe out our world in an instant has its place and purpose, just ask the flowers and the trees. They don’t relate to the sun as a nuclear nightmare, but rather a force of food and fuel, thus granting them the freedom to keep growing.
The evolution of our very planet reaffirms that everything has its place. Over millions of years, the Earth evolved from accreted nebular material with zero life, into a planet teeming with millions of living species of flora and fauna, each interconnected with and dependent upon one another. Each evolution, each species, each event is giving rise to the very moment we find ourselves in now. Everything is serving a unique purpose and filling a unique role within the grand scheme of all things in the known universe.
Nature reminds us that everything simply is; it all just exists. Spend a quiet moment amongst the trees, and see if they have any agenda or aversion. It is only with the addition of human consciousness that we begin to silo things into the categories of morality, “good,” “bad,” “right,” or “wrong.” Each human perspective is entirely unique at its core. And, in fact, two, five, 10, or 20,000 people having a shared experience will all relate to it differently.
So what does all this mean and how does it prove that everything is alright?
Well, we can neither predict nor control what will happen to us most of the time, nor can we change what has already happened. In fact, the only thing we really have any control over is how we interpret, adapt, and relate to the experiences we have.
Things will continue to happen independently of whether we want them to or not, just as they have for billions of years.
So if the only thing left that we can exert any force over is how we choose to relate to the experiences we are having, why not choose a perspective ripe with peace, choice, and freedom?
If, no matter what, a storm is gonna come, why not choose to see the sunshine through the rain rather than just the storm clouds coming in?
A simple shift in the way we view things can mean the difference between our eternal suffering and our own liberation. The difference between a life fully lived, and one just passing us by.
While there’s truly no comparison between an angry boss and a life-altering natural disaster, the freedom available in every second remains consistent regardless of the circumstances. Each moment is an opportunity to be free, regardless of whether there also exists sadness, grief, sorrow, pain, remorse, jealousy, rage, and so on. All those feelings are fully okay, and there is no need to change them or wish them to be gone—because they can coexist with freedom.
You can’t predict the future.
You can’t control what will happen.
You can’t change what’s already happened.
Everything that happens, happens.
So the next time something seems to be going terribly wrong, take a deep breath and, if it feels authentic, remind yourself that everything is alright.
Everything that falls apart invariably gives rise to something else in its place. Every failure is simply a stepping stone on the path to success. Every challenge is an opportunity to reconfirm a commitment, and foster the gift of deeper knowing. And all things are constantly changing, nothing remains the same.
Sometimes, we may take a wrong turn, encounter a roadblock, or get knocked off the path. These moments and situations are never easy, nor are they meant to be. But it’s through these challenges that we get to really feel the golden juiciness of “the other side,” a juiciness that can take the form of intimate relatedness with the people with whom we banded together, or perhaps who were waiting on the other side.
It can be found in the gratitude of the breath that continues to fill our lungs, a home that continues to stand, or a life that dances on. Though, at the root of it all, the sweetest juice is coming back to ourselves knowing that we are capable of so much more than we thought, that we can trust in our abilities and our bodies to take care of ourselves and others, and that the truth of every moment is really ours to decide.
Sometimes it’s painful, challenging, or even devastating, but I promise this too shall pass—and you have a choice to make.
Everything is alright.
Author: Arin Pitcher
Image: “Hugo” movie still
Editor: Travis May
Copy Editor: Nicole Cameron
Social Editor: Waylon Lewis