There are generally only two types of experiences we usually have on earth: “good experiences” and “bad experiences.” Good experiences typically are the ones where we feel good, loved, appreciated, creative, hopeful, and healthy. Bad experiences typically are the ones where we feel bad, unloved, unappreciated, stuck, hopeless, and unhealthy. But there’s actually a third type of experience: Bad experiences that we change into a good experience–or at least as good as it can be. People often refer to this as “turning lemons into lemonade.”
And let’s not forget, however, that none of this is random; the type of experience we have (good or bad) is a choice–even though it may not feel like it in the moment. Whether we have good experiences or bad ones, they can only come from choices we’ve made. In other words, our experiences are the outcome or effects of our previous decisions in life–conscious or unconscious. We traditionally refer to the results of such decisions as “good karma” and “bad karma.”
As we learn to recognize our part in life’s lessons, we then empower ourselves to turn even the worst experiences into potentially positive ones–mainly by making different choices.
The types of choices we often make that end up manifesting as negative experiences can include any of the following (and more):
- Failing to start and end each day in communion with God–even if for 5 minutes
- What we believe about ourselves and others (i.e. judgments and opinions)
- Not choosing to complete our healing related to wounds of the past
- Believing someone or something outside ourselves can offer us anything of value
- Failing to recognize, integrate, and give thanks for lessons from past experiences
- Not taking responsibility–which means we have no power to make a different choice
- Not making a different choice, a better choice–choosing again
- Choosing to judge or hate instead of to love and forgive
So what is it in us that would make such self destructive choices? We could attribute it to laziness, stubbornness, hurt/anger, and so on. But in a word, it really comes down to “EGO.” Our ego was the one who convinced us in the first place to make any of the poor choices noted above and then convinced us to create the karmic effects of our poor choices. In so doing, the ego keeps us trapped in “lose-lose scenarios” and even succeeds in keeping us from noticing it.
What To Do When Life Give Us Lemons
But when life seems to give us “lemons,” there are three distinctly different ways that people handle such things (each being a progression forward):
- Being tired of having so many lemons (lessons) and throwing them away–those of us who act like victims and react poorly to life’s lessons
- Beginning to search for different uses for the lemons–those of us who begin to take responsibility and grow from our experiences
- Mastering our use of the lemons–those of us who emerge from life’s tests and end up turning life’s lessons into the greatest gifts possible
The bottom line is that “life happens.” But it doesn’t happen to us; It happens with us or for us. Life reflects our inner and outer choices, but can be seen as a gift, since whatever it shows us can help us make different choices, changing what we experience tomorrow.
Of course, making better choices does not always reveal a better world immediately. Some gifts are seen (or felt) in seconds, while others might be delayed until another life. It’s still worth the effort to create these changes, in order to change the effects (bad days) set into motion from our bad decisions in the past AND prevent ourselves from creating more of those bad days for the future.
One thing is certain–what we experience in our lives is a choice, but not a choice we are usually aware of, nor one we are used to making. As we begin to live the life of a master on the spiritual path, instead of being a victim, we clearly learn to step up and begin to “create our own reality”–not so much in a form that we see so often mis-used in the New Age community, but rather in a form that reflects our willing to release our ego and begin to “co-create a reality” that reflects the loving and positive gifts of God.