Why is this perfect now?
"Gratitude is not only the greatest of virtues,
but the parent of all others."
The conflict had been going on for many months and the young man was getting tired. As the normal avenues for resolution had evaporated the other side had resorted to underhanded tactics - rumour, innuendo and unfounded allegations of the lowest kind were used to try and smear his character and turn the community against him.
In the midst of this, self pity called; "Oh poor me" it spoke "I don't deserve this"
The young man was tempted, his spirit had been wounded by the ongoing taunts. He'd been forced to defend himself to others and question his very being in his quieter moments.
Suddenly, his melancholic state was broken. An old man appeared before him, his hair silver with wisdom, his eyes clear and bright.
"Before you the path diverges," he said, "If you choose to go down the path of self pity, you will relinquish your power. Your judgement of the situation will close the gate to possibility and you will be forced to release your freedom to choose.
Your self pity is thinly disguised self importance. You will tell yourself you are the victim and that you need to be saved but you will not be willing to take any action to save yourself. Hence you will wallow in self pity and cry to anyone who will listen, hoping against hope that someone will come and save you. All along you will have denied yourself the opportunity to embrace your own freedom."
The young man was taken aback, no one had ever spoken to him like this before and although a part of him wanted to tell the old man to leave him alone another part yearned to know the rest of the story.
"And the other path?" he asked.
The old man's eyes lit up, a smile curled his lips and he chuckled softly.
"The other path involves power. Not over others but over the self and the challenges of spirit. To seek freedom is to know that in every situation one has a choice. But that freedom is not given by others, it is taken by the self through the act of exercising our will. Free will.
As judgement locks the gate to possibility, gratitude opens the door.
Your life is a precious gift and every challenge you face contains a gift - a gift of power.
Gratitude transforms the pain of whatever challenge we may face in life. It gives us the opportunity to ask a question of ourselves that we didn't even know we should ask. And through the answering of the question we give ourselves the opportunity to grow and expand.
Without duality there would be no growth. By embracing any challenge and seeing it as perfect we claim our chance. We exercise our will and claim our freedom to choose. In doing so we receive the gift of power."
The young man reflected on how he had been dealing with the conflict. All too often he knew he had rejected the situation as unfair. Anger and resentment had arisen and he had poured out his feelings to anyone who would listen.
Slowly it had poisoned his mind and zapped his energy.
The old man's words shone a light into the darkness. There was a way forwards. It wasn't all about him. It wasn't personal. He was free to choose.
"Thankyou" he said. And as he did so the heavy weight that had plagued him for weeks began to lift and the very life force began to flow back into him.
The old man smiled again, "You're welcome", he replied and turned to go on his way.
In peace and love always.
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