Always leave room for the "Or Better"
Life is not meant to be a struggle, a battle, or something you need to strategize your way through. It's meant to be an experience, an education, a realization of your true self, and making the most of your experience. I've been told that things happen for a reason and life gives you exactly what you need, not always what you want. And it gives it to you exactly when you need it, not necessarily when you want it.
When we come across obstacles in our paths, it's not because we're "bad" and The Universe/God is trying to punish us. Everything that presents is an opportunity for us to find our true selves. Whether something is "good" or "bad" is only based on our personal judgment of the situation (hint: there's no such thing as good or bad- only IS). Winning the lottery can seem like a "good" thing, especially if used as a tool to truly follow one's heart's calling. But if it's used to feed greed and superficial wants, problems can appear (to redirect you and hopefully point you to your true path), it's often deemed as a curse. Severe illness can seem like the worst thing that can happen to anybody, but can serve as an opportunity to redirect one's attention to the important things in life, encouraging you to discover your true support system, heal or strengthen relationships, find strength you never knew you had, and freedom, one way or another. I can guarantee that everything that happens and comes to us is exactly what we need. We're presented with perfect situations and what we do with them, what we make of them and what we think of them is entirely up to us. That's the beauty of free will.
One of my teachers taught me that Life always tries to give us what is in our Highest Good. When we let our Ego get the best of us and become attached to our idea of what we think is best for us, we leave out the possibility for Life to guide us to the "Or Better", as she likes to call it. "Or Better" refers to the wonderous possibilities that The Universe, in its Infinite Wisdom, has cooking for you to guide you to your fullest potential. "Or Better" is the possibilities that are beyond what our limited Ego can even dream up. So when we think we know what's best for us, what we think we "should" do and become fixated on it, strategize, force things to happen and struggle to make things work that don't necessarily feel quite right, we're leaving out the opportunity for the "Or Better" to come through. We're working against the ease and the flow that The Universe has always lovingly planned for us.
So how do we know what choices to make, what path we're supposed to take? We always follow our heart. If your heart's not in it, don't do it. Listen to your gut feeling. If it doesn't feel right, don't do it. If it's out of fear, guilt, or obligation, don't do it. If you have to strategize, manipulate or force it to happen, don't do it. If it's not because of love, don't do it. If you still insist on doing it and doors repeatedly close, despite your best efforts, stop doing it. But if an opportunity presents and it makes your heart sing and flutter with excitement, go for it. If you get tingles, do it. If it incites tears and you become verklempt, go for it. If you get repeated signs, go for it. If you're guided to it, go for it. If it lights a fire in you, stoke it. If it just feels right, no matter how illogical, there's no reason needed- just do it.
My latest lessons have involved letting go of the need to have things figured out, trusting in my gut feelings and gaining patience with Divine timing. So my beloved Subie started having seizures back in April and spent over two months in the shop. Before then, I didn't imagine buying a new car. Subarus are known to last forever, and having paid for it in full when I bought it, I expected a long-term relationship with it. It wasn't super luxurious, it wasn't super fast, and accumulated quite a number of dings and scratches on it, but it got me. It had my back in dangerous situations(got us home safely in a blizzard), hauled all my shit, and didn't need much care. When it accumulated a fair amount of dings and scratches I asked My Hun if I could get it fixed as a gift. He graciously obliged and all was well until April when somebody crashed into my car in the driveway while we were out of town on vacation. I came home to a huge dent on my rear fender and my car started having its weird episodes of seizures as I liked to call them. After two months of repeated trips to the dealership, and some $$, they finally fixed the problem.
At the time my car was having problems I was going through my own personal issues. I was in the midst of making big career decisions and was guided to cut my work hours. This obviously meant less income coming in and I didn't feel supported in the decisions I was trying to make. Fear and doubt started creeping in and I was seeing my Subie as an analogy for my relationship. I felt stuck in a dilemma- Should I let go of something that I thought would be a long-term supportive relationship that was turning out to conk out on me? Was this a sign that I needed to just let go of what's no longer serving me? Or was I just not giving it enough attention and energetically pushing it away? My emotions were swirling and I felt like I needed to figure it all out and maybe that would help solve the problem.
While my car was in the shop I did some research on new car options, but didn't do much cuz I wasn't really excited to look for a new car. I also had the chance to drive several cars. My kind mother-in-law let me use her luxury SUV for a few weeks. Although it was very luxurious and roomy, it was a gas guzzler. After a couple of trips to the dealership they offered me a loaner- the latest and top of the line of the same model of my car. I gratefully thanked my mother in law and used the loaner for the next month. Although it was newer, had more options and yet still familiar, there were little things that just didn't feel right and didn't entice me. I kept going back and forth between deciding to buy a new car and to keep my car. On one hand I'd have a new car with less worries, but I'd also have to spend more money with less income. Or I could just keep my old Subie and just put in some $$ to get it back up in driving shape but still have a lingering fear that it'll conk out on me again.
When the dealership FINALLY fixed the problem, I was on the verge of deciding to buy a new car. Not because I really wanted to, but out of fear that it'll fail me again and I'd be stuck with it. But after driving it again I lost the little urge that I had. I started to settle in and actually kinda missed it. Besides, if I was going to spend money on a new car I wanted it to be a car I fall in love with, which I hadn't found yet. It just didn't feel like the right thing to do at the right time, even though my fearful Ego was screaming at me to get a new car, or else! Hala ka!
A month later, My Hun randomly suggests that we go to a dealership and check out a car. He said he's been researching cars for me since he said I didn't look very happy since getting my car back. I wasn't really feeling the urge, but since we were literally right in front of the dealership, eh, why not? He pointed out the Mazda CX-5 which I never even considered before. It's nothing super fancy nor flashy. He said it was highly rated (he's a very thorough researcher when it comes to purchases) on safety, customer satisfaction, drivability, and even gas mileage(DING!). And he said it had a higher towing capacity than the other cars in its class (DING!). He was totally paying attention to what I wanted. We looked just to look without any intention to buy, but a certain color called out to me(DING!), the numerology and phonetics of the car model had a lot of meaning to me(DING!), he was offering to pay for 1/3 of the car (DING!), and he worked his Ilokano haggling magic and was able to get a great deal on it (DING!). I didn't have to do the stressful work to research it, there were meaningful signs, it was coming from a sincere and thoughtful gesture of love, and it was practically being handed to me. AND I didn't have to get rid of my Subie. How could I say no? So, guess what? I didn't.
I drove it home today and the little things confirmed that I made the right choice. Little things I didn't notice before, like getting the exact middle sun visor extension-thingie that I like(the other types in the other cars kind of annoyed me), the Sport drive mode that makes me feel like I might be able to keep up with my Hun when we have to take our separate cars somewhere, and the fuel economy monitor app make me giddy. And the color- it's so me.
By not pushing, not rushing and not acting out of fear, I feel like I learned a huge lesson in allowing things to flow, letting things come together naturally and letting go of worry to trust that everything will eventually work for the Highest Good. I got a new car AND I got to keep my Subie (Yay! Third car for somebody who might be needing it soon. Ahem- Keahi.). It gave My Hun an opportunity to offer me a huge gesture of love, support and appreciation that brought us closer. It's everything I didn't even know I wanted and more. It's proof of the "Or Better" that's always waiting to surprise us if we'd just let it. Kind of like My Hun, as I'm learning more and more.