Life happens with us

I read this passage yesterday in Shefali Tsabary’s excellent book – The Conscious Parent.

“To understand that life is a wise teacher, willing to show us our higher self, revolutionizes how we live and how we parent. We approach everything with an attitude that our circumstances are here to help us come from our higher self. We see life as trustworthy, here to usher us into a deeper self-connection. We also know it’s inherently good, a mirror of our own internal state of goodness. This approach recognizes that we are fundamentally interconnected to all that happens in our life, so that we are co-creators of the reality in which we live. Life doesn’t happen to us, but happens with us.”

This idea resonated deeply as it gets at the core of what it means to embrace learning from life’s experiences. Completely embracing learning in our lives requires us to believe in life’s ability to surface the right things to learn as we move with it.

In essence, the train of logic on how to think about this is both simple and beautiful. The first step is to take responsibility for what happens in our life – Stephen Covey would describe this as being proactive. Taking responsibility enables us to respond, and not to react, to life. Once we begin responding to life, we widen the gap between stimulus and response to be more conscious and intentional about our choices. That, in turn, means we become the co-creators of the reality we constantly shape.

I love the analogy of steering a boat in the sea. The sea’s currents are powerful and override steering from time to time. But, in the long run, there’s a huge difference between floating at sea and consciously steering.

Life doesn’t happen to us, but happens with us.