This morning I was on a call with a bunch of my beloved colleagues, a group of powerful and wonderful coaches who meet every Friday morning to discuss the world of coaching, but today it was different. Instead of discussing the world of coaching we were discussing our coaching in the world, a world where this week we've experienced several violent and traumatic events. The kind of events that shake us out of our comfort-zone and fill up our news feeds and conversations with shock, fear, rage, anger, and grief.
Some of the coaches on the call had addressed the events publicly through their blogs and Facebook feeds. Some of us had not. I was one of the quiet ones. I generally don't bring up world events (especially tragic ones), politics, or religion in my public posts. And sometimes this causes me some inner turbulence because I'm familiar with the idea being silent can be seen as being complicit (and I'm Jewish, so there's that - a huge value around working for social justice, for "tikkun olam" or "repairing the world")...but I'm an expert in conflict resolution, so bringing up polarizing topics (which seems to generally cause conflict) usually doesn't feel like a win-win to me.
But on this particular call I felt moved to speak up about what helps me the most when things go terribly wrong. Terribly wrong on a global level, or terribly wrong on a personal level - doesn't matter. What helps me the most is the idea of "sacred contracts". I was first introduced to this concept by a book of the same name about 15 years ago. (Sacred Contracts, by Caroline Myss). And at this point I can't tell you a single thing I read in that book, or even if I finished the book, or if my own evolution of the idea is still in sync with the author's philosophy. (Maybe I should read it again!).
But in a nutshell (and this might stretch you a bit), my interpretation of a sacred contract is that it is an agreement we make with someone else before we incarnate detailing how our relationship will be once we do incarnate for a particular lifetime. Yeah, I realize that this may require you to believe in all sorts of things that up until now you may have rejected. That's okay. Because I can't tell you that reincarnation is a fact, or that sacred contracts are a fact. I can't tell you that I know for certain that I made an agreement with my ex to be emotionally abused, or for my second grade teacher (a nun!) to tie me up with jump ropes as a punishment, or for my two sons to be absolutely amazing people, or for the Handsome Sweetheart to be a wonderful soulmate to me. I can't tell you that I know these agreements were made for a fact, but the IDEA of it, the choice to believe it, helps me immensely. I can tell you that, for a fact.
Believing in a world where we are all separate, where some karma is going to get us, where tragedy could strike us at any moment, where life happens to us - puts us in a place of complete powerlessness. And I don't believe we are powerless. I believe we are powerful creators, and I want to create consciously.
Deciding that everything that happens in my experience is something I'm creating, something I've agreed to, something that will help me grow, puts me back in a place of power, a place of safety, a place where I'm not separate from you or from the Universe but where we are all one and we are all in this together.
In this worldview, where we are all working together to evolve to another level of consciousness everyone is always winning the game their playing.
I'm not one of those people who believes that "everything has a reason", because I can't make sense of certain things being reasonable. I don't believe that there is a good reason for violence, or for abuse, or for people to be killed. But I do believe that we can choose a viewpoint where we can give these things a purpose.
We can choose to allow a higher purpose for the things we don't understand.
If the Universe is one big mirror reflecting back to us our thoughts and beliefs, what is this reflection showing us? When we look in the mirror and see a lipstick smudge or food in our teeth we can then do what we need to fix the smudge, to clean the teeth, to see a better reflection shining back at us.
When our world looks ugly to us we can remember that the purpose of the reflection is to show us what needs to be fixed, we don't yell at the mirror, we don't smash the mirror, we don't make a judgment about the mirror being wrong -- we just lovingly fix what needs fixing and recognize that the mirror's reflection served the purpose of showing us what we didn't see before.
In the face of intense personal pain I recognize that this message might seem overly simplistic. Everyone deals with world events and personal events in the best way they know how.
My hope is that this idea offers some solace, a new perspective, and a place of power for you if you're feeling powerless. We're all winning the game we're playing.
Let's choose love and play to win.
This blog post was written at the request of the lovely Jeannette Maw and originally posted at her site The Good Vibe Blog.