Remember the scene in the film where Pi and Richard Parker get caught in the storm after having sailed somewhat calm seas for quite some time? Firstly, he loses everything that made him comfortable during this ordeal- his raft, his food, the water he’d painstakingly collected, the journal he’d been writing and the nub of pencil he had left- all his comforts were now stripped away. At first, he responded in awe to the might and presence of the storm, staring directly into (the face of God), cocksure he was about to die for the umpteenth time on this journey, and un-apologetically unafraid. Then, he responded in anger, exploding in rage in the face of the injustice being meted out to him and his friend. “WHAT MORE DO YOU WANT????!!!!” He screams into the sky, demanding the universe give him an answer.
Sometimes just when you think you’ve gotten the hang of it, just when you think, “You know what, this is not that bad!”, everything absolutely falls apart. They say things happen in three’s, but sometimes it seems like “three’s” is more like three-sets-of-three, of the “when it rains, it absolutely pours” variety. Think back to just before this scene where he is content. He’d come to terms with his situation, developed a routine, tamed the tiger, built his raft, and above all he did not give up hope. By all accounts, he hadn’t done anything to deserve what he was facing now- it is unconscionable to conceive a god who, seeing his servant already in the midst of suffering, takes away whatever he has left and hands his servant even more suffering.
And yet, so many times we experience exactly this in our daily lives. We’re already at a place where things aren’t ideal but we’ve committed our resolve to make it work- we’ve built rafts and find comfort daily rituals, just to find the strength and motivation to help us to get through whatever it is we are facing- only to have these things taken away from us too. It takes every shred of composure not to snap, not to climb the stairs of heaven, get into god’s face and ask him dead on- What, exactly, is YOUR problem???
I’ve had so many of my fist-shaking-against- the-heavens moments I’m more than sure god himself has lost count (I mean, I’ve never attempted to count the number of times my children have thrown temper tantrums, so I’m assuming the god of the universe doesn’t either!). In hindsight, I can see though that the things I used to resort to in order to make myself comfortable during the storms were akin to the way babies use pacifiers. I still do it- resorting to procrastination over action, preferring to live a cushy, small existence instead of pushing myself to go for my dreams, settling for jobs instead of pursuing a career, failing at every turn to live up to my own aspirations and to acknowledge my own self worth- these are crutches I use so I never have to stretch myself into being uncomfortable.
Whatever comfort zone I find for myself, the universe is usually quick to strip it away, to leave me raw and bawling, pushing me face first into whatever storms may come, eyes wide open. In the blink of an eye babysitters quit, relationships fail, jobs are lost, markets fail, spouses get sick and/or die and homes are lost. Just like that every single thing I counted on to support me, everything I thought I could count on to keep me steady, every single support I thought I had was gone. No childcare, no job, no apartment. I’m sure I’m not the only one.
You can rail against the heavens all you want but god is a good parent who rarely responds to temper tantrums. This storm will get you closer to where you need to be- to who you are. You are being pruned, stretched and molded by your storm into the person you need to be in order to fulfill your next assignment, so get ready; there’s more to come. All those things you thought you needed to get you through were actually holding you back from achieving your potential and fulfilling your destiny, that’s why they were taken away.
Whatever it is the universe has in store, know this: you CAN do this. Do not give up hope.
I’ve decided to call this series Lessons From The Lighthouse, in homage to the imagery found in the film, Life Of Pi. These lessons have served as an inspiration to me in my personal growth and development in the past year and half, and now, I’m sharing them with you. I hope that they are instrumental in helping you find your inner ability to create miracles in your own life.
To find the entire series, click here.
Light & Love!