Have you ever experienced a crushing rejection and later discovered that being rejected was actually one of those proverbial "blessings in disguise"? Just this past weekend, I was talking with a friend who recounted a recent experience of hers that was breathtakingly powerful for her. A couple of weeks ago, she found herself lamenting "the one who got away," when she bumped into him on the street. She was shocked to discover that the former twinkle in her eye had slipped into drugs and alcohol, lost his medical practice and was now living a life of desperation and addiction.
Earlier this past week, she had been reading my July article on acceptance and cooperation. We began talking about the sometimes-difficult notion of acceptance and understanding when she shared her story about the one who got away. Alice had been struggling with acceptance and how to make the best of apparently-difficult situations when she bumped into her former friend and lover.
Most people think acceptance has something to do with liking your circumstances. In truth, acceptance merely means recognizing the obvious, cooperating with the reality of it, and finding ways to move forward in spite of the situation. As we got deeper into the conversation, Alice came up with one of those in-the-moment bits of enlightenment that was as stunning in its accuracy as it was profound. She summed her experience and insight up in two words: "Rejection Perfection." In her way of thinking, the painful experience of rejection may have actually saved her an even more painful experience of living with an addict. Rejection Perfection, indeed.
As she shared this bit of awareness and insight, I offered her an affirmation I have begun working with lately, The Will of God will not take you where the Grace of God cannot sustain you. Alice was bowled over by this, and it was several minutes before she felt like speaking as the wisdom, truth and perfection of this little statement washed over her.
This simple-but-powerful affirmation came to me a while back as I was struggling with what appeared to be yet another difficult choice to be made in my life. I'm sure you've been there in your life as well -- circumstances had changed in some unexpected ways and part of me was fearful about what to do next. I don't know about you, but my life has a way of unfolding in ways that don't always match my hopes. Perhaps you have noticed something similar.
As I have been writing these many months, there's always a source of inner guidance and support to be found regardless of your circumstances, if only you are willing to listen to that quiet inner voice of your Soul-Talk. In this instance, my Soul-Talk was actually repeating something to me that I had heard somewhere in the distant past but not quite paid attention to.
As it turns out, my abbreviated affirmation actually comes from a longer and even more profound piece by someone who so far remains unknown to me. (If you happen to know who actually penned the verses that follow, I would love to know). The author probably doesn't care as much about attribution as he likely cares about the contribution these powerful, insightful words convey:
The will of God will never take you, where the grace of God cannot keep you, where the arms of God cannot support you, where the riches of God cannot supply your needs, where the power of God cannot endow you.
The will of God will never take you, where the Spirit of God cannot work through you, where the wisdom of God cannot teach you, where the army of God cannot protect you, where the hands of God cannot mold you.
The will of God will never take you, where the love of God cannot enfold you, where the mercies of God cannot sustain you, where the peace of God cannot calm your fears, where the authority of God cannot overrule for you.
The will of God will never take you, where the comfort of God cannot dry your tears, where the Word of God cannot feed you, where the miracles of God cannot be done for you, where the omnipresence of God cannot find you.
-- Author Unknown
To me, it doesn't matter what term you might want to substitute for "God." You can use a sacred name that resonates well with you, you can use something as simple as Spirit, or higher consciousness -- it just doesn't matter. As I am fond of saying, "God did not name Itself. It took a human being to do the naming."
So, don't get terribly hung up on the language side of the equation. If you can move past the word level and delve into the underlying power of your soul or spiritual essence, you may well discover something quite liberating. Try exploring your own past circumstances and see if you can't discover something that has sustained you even when times looked the most bleak.
What challenging circumstances have you encountered that later turned out to be one of those "blessings in disguise"? What have you learned about trusting that inner voice of your own Soul-Talk?
I would love to hear from you, so please do leave a comment here or drop me an email at Russell (at) russellbishop.com.
If you want more information on how you can apply this kind of reframing to your life and to your job, about a few simple steps that may wind up transforming your life, please download a free chapter from my book, Workarounds That Work. You'll be glad you did.
Russell Bishop is an educational psychologist, author, executive coach and management consultant based in Santa Barbara, Calif. You can learn more about my work by visiting my website at www.RussellBishop.com. You can contact me by email at Russell (at) russellbishop.com.
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