The Constant Gardener

My mother has always said, “Everything happens for a reason”. For years I thought this was just her way of placating me when something bad happened, but recently I have come to realise the inherent wisdom in it.

Everything happens for a reason.

Life often contains upsetting details. These things can range from abuse to a bad haircut to divorce, but they all affect us. They throw us off balance & confuse us. We wonder what we did wrong. What did we do that was so awful that we deserved this? While I do believe in personal responsibility, & that our external world is a direct reflection of what is going on inside us, I also think there’s more to it than that. Sometimes these occurrences are the pathway to a more marvellous thing.

I don’t believe in “fate” (probably because I am too much of a control freak!), but I do believe that the Universe (or God, or a higher power, or whatever you like to call it) is always looking out for us. It gives us cues & nudges, signs & hints, & every now & then, it gives us a big, blessing-laden wink. We can’t always see that, though, & when we ignore it, we do so at our own peril. In order to be aware of what is going on around us, it’s important for us to be open & listening, to feel spiritually grounded & to trust in our intuition.

I think it’s essential to pay attention to what the Universe (or our intuition) is telling us. So many times I’ve had a bad feeling about something, & then after it’s all gone to pot, I know I was right to be cautious. It happens in small doses, too — walking around Manhattan, sometimes I feel like I should go left instead of right. I use my logic to turn right, then realise a block later that my intuition was right (or left, as the case may be!) all along.

A lot of people make the same mistake over & over, or their life keeps running in a hideous loop, & they don’t know what to do about it. This is a great example of the Universe trying to shake things up, or teach us a lesson that will benefit us in the long-run. We’re all guilty of not listening, too! It’s very common for our ego to get in the way.

Often, when things don’t work out for us, we look at the situation, grit our teeth, & decide to persevere regardless of the circumstances. Or we wig out, throw up our hands & run in the opposite direction. But I don’t think either of these are the ideal solution to a bump in the road. If we can take some time, sit back & examine what has happened in an objective fashion, usually we can see that there is another way forward.

Life doesn’t always fit in with what we want, but instead of taking it personally, I think it can be beneficial to recognise that maybe, just maybe, the Universe is telling us to wake up & pay a bit more attention. To go with the flow, not try & force anything. We can keep pushing if we want to, but it’s not necessarily going to be the best thing for us.

Sometimes we get so hung up on what we want, or finishing a project, or snagging that crush, that we can’t really see what’s going on. We become blind to our ambition, & we decide we must have x, regardless of the cost! Of course, having focus is a brilliant thing, & many of us would not be where we are today without it. But if you can maintain some perspective, consider the bigger picture & re-adjust your goals accordingly when things go awry, you’ll be much better for it.

If you can trust that the Universe will look after you, the world becomes a much less savage place. For example, I often have people approach me to get involved in their business projects. Mostly, it all works out fabulously, though a couple of times I have been a little bit hesitant (oh, intuition), but said yes anyway. What happened? Things went sour. While it’s easy for us to suffer the ill effects of a damaged ego, to take it personally & wring our hands, in my case, soon afterwards the other party showed their true colours. I realised that getting involved with them would have been a huge mistake. Having my energy tangled up in theirs would have been terrible. I regard this kind of thing as the Universe taking care of me. It could see what I couldn’t at the time. & while I could have pushed the issue, “made” it work, haggled &/or debated &/or kissed booty, I’m glad I didn’t. I am much better off for it.

Sometimes the Universe has to re-arrange things for you, often in an unsightly way, in order to make really wonderful things happen. It is painful & ugly at the time, sure.

But when these things happen to you, imagine the Universe knocking on your door. It turns up in overalls, wearing gardening gloves, carrying some seed packets & a pair of pruning shears. It smiles at you, & walks through the house to your garden. It kneels in the soil & starts to go to work in your flower bed, pulling up all the weeds & old, dying plants.

While you could run outside, scream & exclaim, “Don’t you know that those begonias were prize-winning? Best on the block! What are you doing?!”, take a moment. Look through your window. Examine the situation with a real, open, unbiased eye.

Everything happens for a reason.

Allow the Universe to be your gardener. Sit back & have a cup of tea. Watch as new seeds are planted in the fertile earth. Your gardener is making room for even more fabulous things to sprout & come to fruition.