Nature has become a source of life for me. I can spend time in the park and experience deep levels of peace, love, and bliss, making me feel more alive than ever. I’ve grown to expect my visits to the park to immediately solve all of my problems at especially challenging times. But of course, nothing is perfect, so even though many times it seems nothing else exists or matters when I am enveloped in the trees and streams of the park, there are times when simply being in the park is just not enough. I can step out of the park and right back into a funk.
Even still, there is magic in the park. The magic is that although its effects are not always long lasting, they are inevitably profound. I receive countless messages from God that give me an incredible sense of peace and teach me life-changing lessons in that moment. I’m starting to realize that frequent, rather than sporadic, visits to the park are becoming mandatory.
Recently, on a very emotionally charged, challenging, and enlightening walk, I learned A LOT. I don’t think I’ve ever gotten as many messages in one walk before. And the messages were monumental! It was crazy, just as crazy as the walk itself.
I started out literally in tears. I was pissed! I probably looked crazy, speed walking down the street with tears streaming down my face. I seriously did not care. I had to walk, and walk fast. That was the only thing that would solve my problems right away.
My first message came as my mind was still reeling from everything that had pissed me off. I just couldn’t figure out why this and why that. Even though I noticed the beauty of nature surrounding me, I still wasn’t right on the inside and couldn’t seem to shake my mind of all that was wrong.
The next thing I know, some deer appeared in my pathway! I’m used to seeing deer all the time in Rock Creek Park, but never while walking, it was usually when driving. They were relatively close to me too! They were crossing the pathway I was on, coming from the stream and going into the woods. It stopped me in my tracks. I was in awe just watching them. They are such beautiful animals and I always love being able to catch a glimpse of them when I can. They stopped and looked at me for a second, to make sure I wasn’t about to do anything crazy, and then they went on about their business following each other. There were three of them. I whipped out my phone as quickly as I could and started snapping some pictures of them. I was really captivated by them and was actually excited to have had that experience. I even smiled! It brought me pleasure to be able to capture moments of those beautiful animals in their natural habitat. It was one of those simple blessings.
As I continued to walk, I noticed I was in a different mood. I felt a little lighter. I didn’t so quickly go back to dwelling on what was wrong, instead thoughts of the deer still danced in my head. I started to wonder if they were a family traveling together. Where were they going? And where did they hide when the snowstorms came?
Then it dawned on me, God just distracted me. Those deer “coincidentally” crossed my path at the perfect time to get my mind off the negativity I was consumed with. See, He knows me well. He knows how much I love that park. When He saw that simply walking in it didn’t work, He realized He needed to pull some tricks out of the bag so He threw in something to jolt me back into a state of joy. The interesting twist to this beautiful awareness is that normally distractions have a negative affect on me. I either get caught up in feelings of guilt or regret for allowing myself to be distracted in the first place, or I end up doing something I have absolutely no business doing, ultimately leading me to feelings of hurt, anger, or frustration. The combination of these less-than-desirable feelings and actions can create a snowball effect of various upsets and derailments in anyone’s life, and they’ve definitely had their fair share of time in mine.
Yes, mere distractions can cause all of that. The good news is God has distractions of His own that are more powerful and much more pleasant. Believe it or not, we are created in a default state of peace, love and joy. So the divine distractions are just a detour back to who we really are. We are powerfully creative beings. In order to create the experiences we want, we must tap into our own authentically powerful positive energy. Unfortunately, too often we are consumed with what is wrong in our lives and we spend hours (days, or even months – you get the picture, we spend entirely too much time) directing negative energy towards trying to change someone’s bad attitude or a sticky situation. We are quite privileged to have the all-knowing God jump in to help us right when we need Him! He promptly inserts an abrupt interruption to any chaos or turmoil to shift us into the energy that is much more beneficial to us.
So what does this have to do with me, my problems, and the park? Did all of my problems get solved just because I saw some deer? LOL, no. But it was a wakeup call that got me on the right track. You know those traction bumps on the side of the highway that let you know you’ve gone off the main road? That’s exactly what God’s distractions are. In the physical world, those traction bumps are helpful if you’ve dozed off at the wheel while driving at night. Well, in essence, anytime you get too caught up in negative feelings, you’ve fallen asleep to who you really are. God’s traction bumps have more of a tickle effect, than a loud uncomfortable noise, that nicely shifts you back onto your own main road.
While back on my main road and fully awake, I was able to see things more clearly. This is where my authentic creativity kicked in. I consciously took the road of forgiveness, letting go, and self-awareness instead of the bumpy side road of blame, anger and hurt. In letting go, I was able to turn my victim-hood of being hurt by someone else’s selfishness to a declaration of power that I am stronger and better than any petty situation that tries to pull me down or block my success. In self-awareness, I was able to detect my own selfishness…
My own selfishness?? Did I just say that? How could someone else’s selfishness towards me, bring up my own? Where did that come from? I am NOTHING like this person!
The reality is, people will do what they do. They are who they are. It doesn’t have to affect us. But anytime someone’s actions toward us gets under our skin to the point of shifting us out of our default state, it is to make us aware of a place within us that needs more loving attention and healing. The key words here are “make us aware of a place within us.” The challenging experiences we have with people in our lives arise as divine mirrors, showing us aspects of ourselves that we were not previously aware of. Like a pimple that seems to pop up out of nowhere when you get a closer look in the mirror. This experience wouldn’t have presented itself to me if I didn’t need to be made aware of my own selfishness. As the powerful reality creators we are, when we are ready to grow and reach new levels, we create challenging situations that provide deeper awareness and allow for heavy doses of love and healing in the particular area of interest that is present. This is synonymous with taking care of that pesky pimple by paying close attention to your skin, apply healing ointment and maybe even make better food choices to prevent further breakouts.
Just like people, the characteristic is what it is. It does not express itself in the same way through each person. That is the beauty of expression and the differences in people. I had to learn that my selfishness is not necessarily displayed exactly as the selfishness I encountered. The fact remains, after a few rounds of denial, deflecting and struggle, I came to grips with the unique aspects of myself that are indeed selfish. I am now working on more selfless giving and compassion. Only good comes from self-awareness.
What about forgiveness you ask? I mentioned forgiveness earlier along with letting go and self-awareness as the road I consciously decided to take regarding this challenging situation. I’m still working on it. I dive into more and more forgiveness everyday. The deeper I dive into it, the more I feel surrounded by pure and unconditional love, topped off with total acceptance. It’s a beautiful swan dive and I’m enjoying these forgiveness waters with each plunge.
So as you can see, everything is turning out beautifully. It’s a beautiful process unfolding as I’m growing and learning.
Every day in every way I am getting better and better.
Lesson Learned: God’s distractions lead you to the right starting line. Without them, you could exhaust your energy in the wrong marathon and end up in a war zone instead of the finish line.
So the next time you find yourself pissed, depressed, complaining, or dwelling on anything negative and something happens out of the blue to make you laugh or smile, savor the moment. Laugh out loud. Smile long and hard. Bask in the beauty. Feel the love. Roll around in the joy. Don’t be so quick to get back to your negative feelings. You’ve just been interrupted by one of God’s specially crafted distractions. He just threw you a curve ball to happiness and peace. Be sure to catch it!
Share your thoughts in the comments: Have you ever been pleasantly distracted in the midst of anger? Tell me about it!
Peace, Love & Nature,