My mother broke her leg several weeks ago, and she broke it right below the hip (that had been replaced) so she had a complicated surgery to repair both. The first night, after her fall and before they had even determined where she would be moved for the surgery (she was taken to a relatively small hospital the night of the fall), she kept saying, “I know that this happened for a reason.” She repeated it softly, like a mantra.
Over the past few weeks, there have been some miraculous healings in her life. Family relationships that were strained to the breaking point healed. People who barely spoke to each other, began working together for her (and as a by-product, their own) good. She was accepted by the surgeon of her choice, and got her number one pick for rehabilitation centers to go to. She has noticed these things too, and realized that her attitude was one of the major factors in the way things unfolded.
Before she left the hospital for rehab, a hospital representative visited her and asked her some questions about her stay. My mother said this, “I was here 5 years ago for a hip replacement and I didn’t have a good experience, but this time everyone has been helpful and kind and I must say that I have no complaints at all.” The woman started to say “That is wonderful….” but my mother put her hand up, stopping her, and continued, “The reason for the change is because I have changed. When I was in before, I was looking for what was wrong. Now I look for what is right. I’ve changed and so everything else has too.” The woman sort of smiled and looked around at us like maybe our mother was a little off her rocker. We all just smiled back, and when she left the room, my mother said, “I don’t think she understood what I was talking about.”
When I overhear someone say words like, “That should never have happened, It is just awful, I’ll never get over it, I’ll never forgive them, or any statement with that same tone, I always cringe a little. It’s not that whatever happened was an objectively good thing, but when something has happened, and it is done, holding the idea that it was/is a permanent wrong sets up a war inside us, and a roadblock to the gift that was hidden inside the event/circumstance.
As I was driving home the other evening from visiting my mother, Diana Krall was on the radio singing, “The Look of Love”. I’ve always liked that song but suddenly I found myself in tears as my mother’s face flashed into my mind. I’ve looked at her in many ways over the years, but it has been many years since I’ve felt pure Love (without sympathy, concern, or another lesser emotion mixed in).
Whatever happens in our lives, there is a gift for us in it, and each one of us must find this out for ourselves. No person can tell us what the gift is. It is our gift to unwrap and to marvel at.
“All conditions and experiences that come to us do so for our benefit. Difficulties and obstacles will continue to come until we absorb their wisdom and gather from them the essentials of further growth.” pg 107 from The Master Key System by Charles F. Haanel (originally published in 1912)