I had a super-long day of travel recently and used it to read Mike Dooley’s new book, The Top Ten Things Dead People Want to Tell You. It was funny, it was profound and it was moving.
One of the most powerful messages in the book was the idea that any interaction between two people is a co-creation. Why it happens or how it happened is not important.
What IS important is that we seize the gifts, the lessons from what happened and use them to deliberately craft our life going forward.
Whoa! To live deliberately? Consciously?
I know it seems a simple concept, but how many of us actually do this?
Something happens in a relationship. Or someone dies. Or we lose a job. We get sick.
I don’t know about you, but I tend to get bogged down in the “how did this happen?” “Why did it have to happen?” or “Why me?”
Wallowing in that stuff is like stepping into quicksand. It’s hard to get out of it and sooner or later, it’ll kill us.
Challenges in are there for our education. We’re meant to find the lesson–and it IS a gift, really–and use it to make conscious decisions about how we go forward.
Have you gotten a hold of how much of our life is lived in a knee-jerk, unconscious manner? The things we do, we say, or we think we believe are not usually conscious choices. We don’t stop and think about our actions as much as we could. As much as we are meant to.
I’m not suggesting we go into analysis paralysis. Or that we sit back for years thinking about the lesson as an excuse for not moving forward.
But stopping long enough to examine our long-held assumptions, to test them, is a good idea. And the next step is to use what we learn to consciously craft what comes next for us.
Let’s take someone who’s seriously ill.
It’s easy to spin out on the “what if?” or what we think is the worst-case scenario.
But maybe, just maybe, the illness is meant to teach us to live one day at a time. To treasure the moment, to cherish each day. To improve the quality of our lives and not worry about the quantity. Wouldn’t that be a huge step forward?
When a marriage goes bad, there’s always a lesson. Oh, we can muck around in the mire of self-pity–I’ve done that before. Or we can consider that marriage an educational lab meant to teach us new relationship skills that we can put to use in the future.
Most of us get that we should be consciously crafting our lives, at least at an intellectual level, but practically speaking? We do tend toward the knee-jerk response. Or inertia. At least I do.
So for me, that particular message from the dead was a good reminder to act out of conscious choice. In all things.