With the threat of the Coronavirus hovering over our heads, I am reminded of how life’s turning points come without warning. Whether an individual, community, organization or, as it is happening today, nations and the world, turning points offer the opportunity for us to become better, more enlightened. They can also turn us to our dark side. That fate depends on the choices we make. I am not trying to minimize the pain and suffering that the Coronavirus has and will bring. Undoubtedly, this contagion is a threat many of us have not seen in our lifetimes. There will be a great loss of people, businesses and financial stability, However, our best bet to deal with this situation is to remain as positive and optimistic as we can.

Do you remember the great turning points in your life? Were they related to some kind of physical or mental breakdown or the end of a relationship? Perhaps they were triggered by the loss of a loved one or after experiencing a major accident. There are endless possibilities, but their traits are similar, they turn your life upside down.

One my most significant periods of change came when I had to rethink my career aspirations. Up to that point, I had concentrated on doing all I could to accumulate titles and awards, but, although I had been successful in my quest, I was not happy.

The value in hard times

It is a pretty difficult sell to try to convince you that hard times are a necessary part of your evolution. Who wants them? It is only the rare individual that sees their value and is grateful for them. The rest of us spend our lives trying to avoid this pain and suffering. Most of the time, to no avail.

If you can enumerate the many orbits you have taken around the sun, then you know there is nothing in this world that can guarantee our safety, comfort and happiness. What we have discovered, in fact, is that things are always changing, everything is an illusion.

Hard times crack the hard shell our ego created so that our true self can shine through. Persian poet Rumi put it more succinctly,

“The wound is the place where the Light enters you.”

Although we started our lives connected to our Higher Source, we gradually lost the connection as we transferred our reliance to our ego for life guidance. Turning points pave the way for us to reconnect to that Source.

Your greatest teachers

Those who push our buttons the hardest may very well be are our greatest teachers. It is as though the Universe has sent these people to show us the work we have to do to clear up the feelings of anger and revenge we may carry in us. How do we do this? You don’t need to let their behavior dictate yours. You can choose peace over the chaos they offer rather than allow them to unplug you from your source of love and harmony.

Learning to veto the attempt of others to make you choose feelings and actions that cause you to disconnect from your Higher Source is a great lesson to master. This knowledge will enable you to bring peace to any situation, no matter what it is.

Real joy comes when we function from our truest selves

The most important part of our human journey is to search for and reconnect with our truest selves. Life challenges help us bring that about. It is complicated, however, for we must let go of the self we had been to that point. This involves the grieving steps, denial, anger, bargaining, depression and acceptance Swiss American Psychologist Elizabeth Kubler Ross speaks about in her book, On Death and Dying. 

We all take this journey at some point in our lives. I have taken it several times and they have all been worth it. I could not move forward, however, when I judged experiences and people as evil, for that label kept me from learning the lessons contained in them. Labeling things and people as evil separated me from my Highest Source. I had to find peace in every difficult situation and with the people I thought wronged me.

I am sixty-eight-years-old, so I may not survive this latest world crisis, but I know I have been blessed with a great life that improved considerably when I began to feel grateful for everything and everyone in it. The combination of these things and people helped me become the person I have become. The same can happen for you. Turning points will come, but you can learn to turn to them for your greatest good. I pray we, as a world community, will choose the path of love and not the one of fear.

Remember, paying gratitude for your life forward will reward you with an abundance of joy and contentment.

Photo by Jim Wilson on Unsplash