A common story used to explain challenging times is to say that “this is a test.”
What if that’s not the case?
Here are three alternatives.
(1) What if it’s proof?
First I always come back to the idea that if God is all-knowing then God doesn’t need to test me. Or if I believe the Universe conspires in my favor, then the Universe doesn’t need to test me.
In that case, what if the challenging situation that we are facing is not a test, but proof that we can handle it?
(2) What if there’s no “right” answer?
Second, “Test” carries a connotation of a “right” answer vs a “wrong” answer. Pass or fail.
When we say something is a test, it implies that we will keep getting this test until we get it “right.”
Perhaps this is a relic from traditional schooling, where repeating a grade typically means that you failed the first time around.
So when we encounter these issues again, our instinctive reaction is to believe that something is wrong; that we “failed” the “test” last time.
Each time we come back around to the issue, we strengthen our story something is “wrong” with us.
But I don’t think we get these lessons again because we “failed” the test the last time.
What if it’s not about getting the right answer, but about checking in with how we respond, or seeing new angles that we didn’t see before?
After all, we may re-read certain books, re-watch certain movies and television shows, even attend the same seminars and programs multiple times. Each time we get more out of it; we see things we didn’t see before.
(3) What if this is how we measure our growth?
Third, and related to this: coming back to this concept that everything in nature is a spiral. We come back around to the same issues, but the circumstances are never exactly the same and all the players are different, including us.
How we see the situation is different, because we have the benefit of our growth and experience. Sometimes it’s hard to appreciate our growth because there’s no tangible metric for growth.
What if coming back around to the same issue is an opportunity to gain insight into how we have grown?
One way we can see our growth is the difference in how we handle a situation, both internally and externally.
At any point in time we can see only that which we are capable of seeing.
Each time we feel like we are revisiting the “same issue” is an opportunity for us to gather more information about ourselves and others. We can zoom out to a broader perspective and hone in to look a little deeper.
What if it’s all unfolding exactly as necessary to serve our highest purpose?