Does life happen to you, or for you?

A theme for me this month has been that of forgiveness. Without going into detail, there are one or two individuals in my life, who were once very close to me, that I have learned I need to forgive. I’ve spent a long time holding on to various experiences in my life as happening to me, and I’ve realised that when I look at challenging areas in my life as happening for me, things start to take a whole new meaning. Further, letting go becomes possible.

To the present day, the 21st of September, and my partner and I had already experienced a very challenging morning of plans going wrong at the hands of others. Then, as afternoon came by I very quickly became a ‘victim’ of a circumstance, the cause of which I’m both out of control of and very unlikely to ever realise. My car was broken into, and a grand total of around £2 taken. £2. My initial response was what I deem to be quite natural, the response of ‘poor old me, look at the state of my car! This is going to be expensive to repair’, or something to that effect. But my recent journey of aiming to understand what it is to truly forgive very quickly remapped my mindset, and a whole new story emerged before me.

Firstly, I realised that ‘I’ could have been absolutely anyone today, it just so happened that ‘I’ was chosen. This was not a targeted, or personal theft of any kind. I’m just another statistic, individually meaningless but accumulatively meaningful. Secondly, where does one have to be, in life, to have no other option but to steal from other people?

You see, the thing to realise in a situation like this is that I had been selected, because someone took a look at my vehicle and assumed there would be something to take that would be worth taking. They have ultimately recognised my hard work, which is positive, but in the process have damaged what I have worked damn hard for, to ease their own suffering somehow. Then, on reflection, they made me realise how lucky I am to actually possess something worth damaging, and something worth stealing, because they evidently have a lot less than me, and are therefore in greater need. By enabling myself to think this way, which is what I believe to be the right way, I realise they have actually done something for me, and I respect them for that.

Sure, any crime is unjust; if our actions cause others to suffer then those actions are unwise. But, we are at liberty to make ourselves out to be the victim by ultimately suggesting that we are now worse off than the perpetrator as a result of the crime, which is unrealistic. Or, we can instead appreciate the crime for what it is, and realise that we are lucky that we aren’t suffering or destitute. We can realise that we are instead in a position where our honest, hard work remunerates us, but also affords us freedom. Freedom to be free. Freedom to better ourselves, to better our lives, to help others, and ultimately to develop our spirit.

We are individually meaningless, but accumulatively meaningful.

Just a thought.