When I was a child my mother used to say, "It's a blessing in disguise." During my younger years, I never really questioned this idea. Somewhere inside me, I chalked it up to my mother’s optimism, her unyielding faith that God is on her side. Hence, all is and will be well. As a young person I made a sincere effort to see the blessing underneath the disguise. After all disguises weren’t too bad. Wearing a costume or mask on Halloween was a way to get candy and other goodies. So, surely a blessing in a disguise might be even better than one that showed up in plain clothes.
However, as I grew older, I also grew intolerant of this process. I wanted my blessings to show themselves clearly, to stand up and say, “Over here” or “Here I am. I’ve been looking for you.” I became uninterested in disguises and even less interested in trying to find the blessing underneath them. I found the disguises were sometimes quite complex. I mean, where could the good possibly be in not getting a promotion when I wanted it or a failed relationship? My mother, however, persisted, “Just look at it as a blessing in disguise” she continued to offer. It didn’t matter whether or not I told her about my disappointments, I could still hear her voice in my head. Sometimes, she would quote the bible, “All things work together for the good of those who love the lord.” Yet, I often struggled with the idea that difficulties could be a part of building my greater good. Unfortunately, this meant my focus shifted from looking for the good to staring at the bad.
I’ve heard numerous spiritual teachers and practitioners say, it’s universal law that whatever we focus on grows bigger. My mother knew this too. She was not encouraging blind optimism. Rather, she was nurturing my ability to use spiritual science – the faith to know that good is my destiny and my inheritance and the ability to use my mind and spirit to cultivate good within and around me. She was gently guiding me to move beyond the surface and get beneath my experiences.
Is there an experience that you’d like to see differently? Is it possible that you’ve overlooked a gift while staring at an empty space? Perhaps, you’ve managed to get to a better place about a loss or a disappointment and as you look back on it, you can see the gift you received. Can you see that the bid that fell through on the first house you wanted led you to a better deal and a home you adore? Did the union in your workplace negotiate a better contract after you were denied your first promotion, so you got a bigger raise when you succeeded on the second try? Just take a moment to notice. There are gifts awaiting you. You only need to shift your focus. Remember, what you focus on grows bigger. Grow your good.
GROW YOUR GOOD ACTIVITY:
Think of a situation that you seem to only see in a negative way. Perhaps you’re experiencing difficulties and most of your thoughts are about what’s going wrong. In fact you focus on what’s wrong, though there are probably many things that have gone right. You may feel overburdened by the things that you dislike.
Try this, each time you hear the tape recorder in your head that stuck on a repeating negative message. Examples include:
“My relationship with _______ is growing more peaceful everyday.”
“I have all the resources that I need to accomplish my goals.”
“Everything I need is available to me.”
The statement should reflect what you want to cultivate. Be sure to repeat it several times. Breathe into it. Imagine what it looks like, feels like, tastes like. Use all your senses.
You’ll have to be mindful that you don’t go back to your old script. This sometimes happens when we feel overburdened. If this happens, remind yourself that good is your inheritance, your birthright. This is a non-negotiable truth. The Yoruba sacred text, Irosun Iwori says, it is God’s ordinance that all human beings achieve the good condition. Think of the good you want and attract it to yourself.
Alice Walker wrote, “Helped are those who find something in Creation to admire each and every hour. Their days will overflow with beauty and the darkest dungeon will offer gifts.”