Mistakes Are the Portals of Discovery

If this James Joyce quote is true, my nickname should be Christopher Columbus!

I have to confess, I have managed to make just about every mistake in the book…and this claim is not even meant to be self-effacing but to simply tell the truth!

Sometimes it’s been falling in love with the wrong guy, other times it’s been showing poor judgment around taking a job. It could be in saying the wrong thing to the wrong person or in getting too drunk at my sister’s wedding.

I remember once in college, I got into the elevator and someone introduced me to a blind girl who was in my English Lit class. Because I talked a lot in that class, I blurted out: “If you haven’t seen me, you must have heard me!” At least, she couldn’t see the blush that went down to my toes!

Probably one of the biggest mistakes I ever made was when I went to a workshop at Omega given by one of my favorite spiritual teachers, Paul Ferrini. I raised my hand when Paul claimed that everybody has to deal with the ups and downs of life and that this was part of the spiritual journey, I naively raised my hand and said: “I’ve been through a lot of tragedy in my life (which at least is partially true!) and my life is going along great right now…do I REALLY have to go through more tough times?” He wisely responded, “Well, I can’t speak for you but if you think everything is going to go swimmingly for the rest of your life, I wish you great luck.” Or something to that effect.

I went home to my little cabin and, since I’m a big journaler, I opened up my notebook and promptly wrote: “If it’s for my spiritual growth, please bring on whatever is going to bring me further along the path.” I kid you not, but within weeks my life basically fell apart – I lost a job that was fantastic; I went into a serious depression; my stable finances went into a tailspin; and finally, I even questioned whether there really was a God, if he could put me through such painful experiences!

But strange as it may sound, in retrospect, I really did need to leave that job; depression has been one of my most profound teachers; I definitely needed to be close to broke to appreciate the value of money; AND I believe that without questioning my faith in God, it was pretty difficult to know if I really even have it!

So be careful in clearly expressing what you want to God…watch out because you’re probably going to get it!


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