Would you know opportunity if you saw it?By Linda Emslie on 8 June 2018
One of the things I find really intriguing is how we constantly ask the Universe to help and then refuse to see, accept or be open to receiving that help when it comes.
Take me, for instance. While I was existing in my toxic corporate, career years ago, I constantly bemoaned the fact that I couldn’t see a way out. I would discuss this with a beautiful metaphysical friend of mine, who always gave me sage advice on how to manage my situation. She would also remind me of the number of readings I’d had which indicated there was opportunity all around me. I just couldn’t see it.
A few years on, and many Universal lessons later I have a much easier relationship with Universal flow. Which means, I get it just a bit more than I used to, although still not 100% of the time. The growth in trust of self and the Universe, having faith that I am in exactly the right place and the right time, is much more prevalent in my life than it used to be. I still have my moments of doubt, but not as frequently as before.
So I find it easier these days to notice when the Universe is answering my call: answering it quickly and directly. It’s just that now I have eyes that are better educated to see and a mind that is more open and curious about my options because I am learning how to let go of control; of trying to force certain outcomes to suit what I see as being the ideal solution. You know, that whole letting go of expectations idea.
The Universe doesn’t work that way. It gives you what you ask for in Divine timing and in a format that is in alignment with your highest good. It also requires that you take action and not wait around looking for the “perfect solution” delivered in exactly the format that you require!
I’m reminded of that humorous God story of a man trapped on his roof by flood waters. He prays to God to be rescued. While he was praying he was offered transport to safety by people passing by, first in a row boat, then a motorboat, and then a rescue helicopter.
Each time the praying man refuses the help offered, saying that he is praying to God for help and has faith that his prayer will be answered.
Ultimately, the man drowns and goes to Heaven where he seeks God out and asks, “Why did you let me drown? I was praying to you to be saved." To which God responds, “I sent a rowboat, a motorboat and a helicopter. What more did you expect?”
So, when I ask the question, “Would you know opportunity if you saw it?” I’m serious. We are presented with many choices constantly. The skill lies in, on the one hand, developing the art of discernment to be able to choose wisely; and on the other hand having the openness of child-like wonder to be able to allow the choices to come through our filters long enough to use our discernment to make an informed choice.
Our brains are hard-wired to detect problems and risks so quickly that we often make subconscious choices about things before they’ve even registered. It’s a really neat self-sabotaging feedback loop we have going. On the one hand, our controlling nature wanting the outcome we’re seeking to match exactly the picture in our heads, and on the other hand our primal survival mechanism kicking in as risk-aversion to keep us safe from any possibility of strife. Unfortunately this also surfaces at a more conscious level as scepticism. When faced with options that could change the way we are moving through life, we often opt to view these opportunities with a jaundiced eye. Our sceptical self, trying to keep us safe, steps in and blocks our ability to see beyond the surface and to just take the safe route of staying the same.
How many times have you been like that drowning man? Praying for rescue then spurning what shows up because it doesn’t meet your expectations?
How do we balance the need to protect ourselves from risk, and opening ourselves to recognise the opportunities the Universe is putting in front of us?
It’s a tricky balance, and one that can be met with one of the tenets of mindfulness; and that is, to cultivate the open curiosity of a child. Look at the world around with the childlike wonder and allow the filters of experience, cynicism and adult responsibility to drop away.
This doesn’t mean abandon common sense and leap at every shining thing that comes your way. What it does mean is allow yourself the chance to explore and dream, to imagine the potential that is showing up in whatever form. Allow yourself enough time and space to take information in, then make a decision.
On thing’s for sure, there is an element of risk in every decision you make. When choosing to move out of your comfort zone, the level of resistance, the alarm bells and your inbuilt safety system will go into overdrive to convince you to stay safe. The question you need to ask then is: what if, I take this “risk” and find myself heading towards my dreams and desires? What if I don’t take this risk and I stay exactly where I am?
You then get to choose what level of discomfort you can tolerate and how you’re going to manage that. Whatever you choose, it is valid for you. At the very least you’ve given yourself permission to start seeing the opportunities the Universe gives you in response to your asking.