“You seek problems because you need their gifts.” Richard Bach
I read a book years ago by Richard Bach titled Illusions, The Adventures of a Reluctant Messiah. It left such an impression on me, in some ways it became my bible. I resonated so completely with Richard Bach’s thinking about life, and many of his quotes still run through my head on a regular basis. I think I could and probably will devote a whole post to his quotes, but this post has to do with one in particular: “You seek problems because you need their gifts.”
Interesting thing is, I read this message in different words in my yoga study “a crisis is a terrible thing to waste.”
Reading the message all these years later in my yoga class, I thought of Richard’s quote immediately. It was the same idea just worded a bit differently.
Given everything I had been feeling and worrying about both for myself and others these last few weeks, I thought once again about the notion that problems are truly gifts in a much bigger picture. I welcomed the lesson … I needed the lesson once again. Nothing quite like the return of an old friend.
Still on the heels of my post about our final day of class and remembering my friend, Ron, and thinking about the lessons in Richard Bach’s book, I can’t think of any other person in my life who actually taught me more about that idea by his actions than Ron did. He took his hardship and created beauty and healing with it, not only for himself, but for others. He often would say, had he not been paralyzed as a teenager, he might have ended up in jail. He was joking, I think, maybe not, but he definitely knew that as hard as his paralysis made life for him, it carved the road he would follow to achieve a life of true significance.
A few days back, I was still feeling a bit low, so after work I grabbed my favorite blanket and cuddled up to watch a movie in the afternoon. This is a rare event for me (I think my daughter, Amy, sucked all of those napping genes out of me, the sweet little queen of sleeping/napping. From the time she was a baby, that kid could sleep with the best of them. I once took her to the doctor when she was about three months old asking if there was something wrong with her because she slept so much. He told me to go home and count my lucky stars. I did just that, and have never stopped.)
Back to my rare decision to put on a movie and nap. I chose Amazon Prime to try to find a movie, and found a movie I thought I might like and pressed play. Nothing. I moved the cursor and selected the movie next to it that also sounded good. Nothing. I guess I’m a little slow to get the message, but I selected two more movies under Amazon, same thing. I switched over to Netflix. No problem, played instantly.
For some reason (also known as the universe directing you) I was insistent to watch an Amazon Prime movie. Why???? I really have no explanation, I’m usually not this picky, especially if I’m planning to sleep through it. I returned to Amazon and selected the next movie in line, Breathe, and without even reading what it was about, just insistent that my selection would work, I pressed play, and no big surprise in hindsight, the movie began without me knowing one thing about it.
Within probably five minutes, I knew exactly why I was watching the movie, and I couldn’t have been more content to do so. It was, hands down, one of the nicest movies I’ve seen in a very long time, and reminded me more times than I can count of my friend, Ron. I couldn’t finish it completely as I had to leave for my first yoga class in four weeks.
That night, I awoke in the early hours, finally writing. When I’m excited to write, it usually presents itself in the wee morning hours, but I’ve made peace with that. I toss and turn and write in my head, long enough that I can remember it the next day. When my brain is confident about that, it usually lets me return to sleep.
This night though, Rick woke up also. At about 4:00 in the morning we both were wide awake with the rain pouring down (such a great sound) and I suggested he watch the movie. I welcomed seeing it again especially since I hadn’t seen the ending, and we decided to make a pot of coffee and go for it. I’m not sure if it was the novelty of watching a movie in the wee morning hours, the rain pouring down outside, or the taste of our freshly brewed coffee with a fantastic movie, but it was one of the nicest mornings I can remember in a long long time. We both laughed and cried throughout this true story about … wait for it … a quadriplegic man and his wife who made great strides for the world in terms of people with disabilities (definitely worth seeing).
As this wonderful day progressed, once again, I had to smile at the universe’s subtle yet powerful message. She was telling me to relax a bit, and let her take care of things … that my dear friends would all be fine in the big picture, and for their struggles, they would most definitely be rewarded at some point in some way that they might not yet be able to envision.
I’ve decided for now, to let Her steer this ship, not that I have any say in that matter. But I’m feeling a little more like taking my place on board with an open heart as opposed to a closed and frightened one, joining my friends for the journey each of us with our troubles in hand, remembering again that there’s a reason for everything, even when we can’t see it with our limited vision.