MS Insights: Changing Your SHIT into Compost!
Everything I know and everything I have learned came thanks to the surprise that life had in store for me: MS (Multiple Sclerosis), a supposedly incurable and degenerative disease. All of what I write, even if it is not specifically related to it, came from the broadening of awareness that I got in and through the process of learning to deal and eventually heal from illness.
Today I had a conversation with a suffering individual on the other side of the world. I truly felt bad for him.
How do we express ourselves when things don’t go well for us? What kind of stories make us suffer?
- I did my best but it just didn’t work out.
- They’ didn’t appreciate my efforts.
- They’ don’t want me in their lives.
- I have no one who truly understands me, loves me, cares about me, etc.
- I can hardly make ends meet.
- I blame the economic situation; it is because of my boss, because of my father/mother, my children… because of God!!
We all have similar sorry stories, don’t we? And, usually, they are true at some level.
There is true pain behind our words. Pain from loss of relationships, loss of love, loss of hope. Pain of loss of certainty, of identity, of self-esteem.
Our attention turns inward;
“It is me! Me and everything negative that has happened to me”. It’s about my own lack and that of those around me.
How can we not suffer, right?
Nevertheless, by looping around it, ruminating on it, over and over, all the negative stuff that happens to us only fuels the mind’s fascination to being a victim. Then we feel ever more justified in our suffering and, yes, we then do suffer more.
How then to get out of this loop of suffering?
If you recognize yourself in what you have read so far and if you are reading this article, you probably somehow resonate with spiritual things. And if so I imagine that you have already considered that all that happens (everything that happens and has happened to you) happens for a reason, right? But what if, more than that, everything happens for something? Think of the way that all of what has happened to you, has actually made you stronger, wiser, more compassionate, more skilled. All of that difficulty and struggle has been great fertilizer for that which you have become and which you value in a big way. What good thing can come out of all that manure? Since finally, ‘shit is compost!’, isn’t it?
All that you experience as a huge challenge is there to help you learn how to make compost out of the situation. It is that precise learning what will take you to find meaning in your life—at least that is my case and that of many others that I have supported.
If you think in a more concrete and strategic manner—in order to be able to break the mental loop of negativity—ask yourself: How would it be like to be of use —not necessarily financially— to contribute to someone who is an a worse situation than you? A smile will do, a kind word, a thoughtful action. I assure you that, if you open yourself to be of service, to honestly contribute with your time, your attention or your kindness, to someone who is in a darker place than you at this moment, you will find a door to another level of yourself. A lighter one too. I suggest this small step for you to do.
The way to maintain ourselves depressed is to be thinking only on ourselves; me, me and then me… in our dramas, lacks, injustices, etc. (even when everything may be absolutely true)
Do you do any silent practice? Meditation, contemplation, prayer or any such practice that would help you connect to other levels of your consciousness? If so, I recommend that in that elevated state, or even if it is just in a moment of silent honesty with yourself, ask for guidance. Ask a higher level of yourself—or the Higher Powers whatever they may be (and that you’re comfortable with)—to show you the way, to show you or bring you who to serve, how to contribute. Then open yourself up for things to come your way. They will.
Because, what if all that suffering that you have gone through is precisely the training you came here for? What if all that struggle is precisely the preparation for you to be able —form some place of self-knowledge and empathy— to help sooth someone else’s darkness?
You are on a terrace above a cliff facing the ocean. The sun is about to set. The sky’s colors have begun to change and the breeze is blowing stronger. All of a sudden you realize that down there, the waves are dragging in a bunch of garbage and smashing it against the rock…. That’s unforgivable! You are justifiably indignant. You focus intensely on all the trash that got gathered down there in the cliff because the stupidity and unconsciousness of the people that throw their garbage to the ocean… And you are right!
Certainly it is unacceptable that they would throw their empty bags of chips and cans of coke to the sea!!!… You can’t help thinking of so many other colored words, cussing and infuriating yourself even more. And you know you are right! That is simply not right and that’s it!
….. and by the time you raise your gaze to the horizon, you realize you have missed that beautiful sunset you were about to experience.
Chose where you place your attention. Choose your focus and the meaning you give to events wisely! They determine your life’s experience.
By Shulamit Lando