Pearls and a View of the Moon

As children we stuck fingers in our ears whenever our mothers and grannies expounded on the virtues of disappointments in life—dark clouds lined with silver … doors closing and opening … light a candle instead of complaining about the darkness. Even as adults we turn a deaf ear to such platitudes. When life doesn’t deal us the stack of cards we want, it’s easy to become lost in the bog of three R’s—regret, resent and resist. As Alexander Graham Bell said, “… we so often look so long and so regretfully upon the closed door, that we do not see the ones which open for us.”

This isn’t about having a stiff upper lip, putting on a brave face or positive thinking. It’s one of those universal laws that manifests in exact yet mysterious ways. What’s lost is always replaced with something that takes us farther along our journey and is greater than we could have ever imagined. Have you ever noticed that when things didn’t work out as you wished—that dream job, that perfect relationship, the loss of something or someone—what happened as a result was in some way far better?
Unfortunately, this insight is usually only gained in retrospect. At the time of loss the “what if’s” make it difficult to imagine what could lie beyond. The pearl is embedded in the protective membrane of the mollusk—along with the powerful message that the pearl only exists because a foreign substance slipped into the oyster and irritated it!

The next time life slams a door in your face remember the Zen saying, “Barn’s burnt down, I can now see the moon.” Turn your face to the moon and full of wonder ask, “What now?”

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