In an earlier post, The Power of Belief, I discussed how it could be useful for you to examine your beliefs and consider changing those which do not serve you. I also suggested that you ‘try on’ the beliefs of whatever different spiritual traditions you choose to explore on your journey as a Seeker.
Today I would like to take this idea one step further by launching a short series of posts which focus on specific spiritual beliefs that can change your life for the better. In each weekly post I will highlight a different belief for your exploration and consideration. Each belief would, if you were to adopt it, change your life in a rather profound way, so let us begin this new series with what I consider to be one of the most beneficial beliefs that can be adopted by anyone…
The Universe is On Your Side
Many people live in a constant state of stress and fear simply because they believe that the universe is out to get them. When they encounter an unwanted or unpleasant situation, they may respond with, ‘of course’ or ‘what else should I expect?’, because on an unconscious level – or maybe even consciously – they feel that it is just one of many curve-balls that the universe takes some kind of sadistic pleasure in throwing their way.
The problem with this belief is that it turns life itself into a ‘can’t win’ scenario. If things go contrary to your hopes and desires then you will take your circumstances as experiential proof that the universe is out to get you. At the same time, if things happen to go your way then you will instantly begin to wonder how long those things will last before the universe once again takes pleasure in pulling the rug from under your feet. In other words, whether the circumstances are pleasant or unpleasant, the belief that the universe is against you will ensure that it always feels that way.
‘The most important decision we make is whether we believe we live in a friendly or hostile universe.’ – Albert Einstein
The belief that the universe is on your side is completely opposite to the position I have just described. Those who adopt this belief view everything – and I mean absolutely everything – as a gift from the universe which has been given for their benefit.
Objectively speaking, this belief may not be any more rational than its opposite, but the quality of life experienced with this belief in place is markedly better. When things go your way, you will feel gratitude that the universe is orchestrating events and circumstances for your benefit. And similarly, when you find yourself in a situation which you do not particularly enjoy, you will immediately begin looking for – and consequently find – something positive in that situation.
‘We know that all things work together for good for those who love God…’ – Romans 8:28
Breaking your leg probably isn’t something that you would automatically view as being a good thing, but if you believe that the universe is on your side, it becomes something which could in fact contain plenty of good. Maybe the universe is forcing you to slow down and relax for a while because you have been working too much. Maybe it has put you in a situation where you focus more on your spiritual development than on matters of less importance. Or maybe it is simply giving you a lesson on why you should learn to use ladders more sensibly in the future.
When you have the belief that the universe is on your side, there is nothing you will face which need disturb you on anything more than a superficial level. Yes, you may need to reorganise or cancel a few meetings, or live according to a tighter budget for a few weeks or months, or change your diet, but all of those things can also be very good for you, and actually open the way for every better circumstances to show up just around the corner.
Even the biggest ‘disaster’ of all – the prospect of death – can lose much of its sting when it is experienced by someone who believes in the complete and utter benevolence of the universe. Evidence of this can be found in the lives of many thousands of people who, by their own admission, really didn’t appreciate the gift of life until a medical diagnosis or the death of a loved one suddenly made it a lot less certain. Some of those people recovered and went on to live the rest of their lives with a greater sense of appreciation for each day. Others didn’t recover, but went on to face death with the kind of courage and joy that caused their loved ones to re-examine their own views about life. In both cases, the experience itself was far more positive than it would have been with a different belief in place.
No Seeker should be waiting for circumstances to force him to examine his beliefs about any matter. Instead, the Seeker should set out to examine them now, by his own volition, and to make any changes which he deems necessary or desirable for the wellbeing of himself and others.
This being the case, I would ask you to consider this first belief in relation to your own life. Do you want to view the universe as your enemy, and one which will always defeat you because it will always be bigger than you are? Or would you prefer to view the universe as your friend, and one which will always help you to turn even the darkest of circumstances into events that will bring more light into your life?
The choice, as ever, is yours, but if you decide that you would like it to be so, the universe is on your side, and always will be.
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