By Mark Pitstick, MA, DC
Author’s note: I dedicate this article to Dr. Wayne Dyer who, at the time of this writing, just passed on. He experienced one of life’s biggest changes but, fortunately, he knew without a doubt that death is just a gateway to another phase of forever. Wayne endorsed my first book, was a guest on my radio show “Soul-utions” and we met several times. Kudos, my friend, for a life very well lived. Thank you for being such a bright light in our world!
Yesterday, one of my neighbor’s trees blew over. His huge pine tree was in a low area that collected water. As such, it didn’t have to put down deep roots. When strong winds came along, it fell over.
Have you ever felt like you’ve fallen over?
Change is the one thing we can always count on in life. Having a strong foundation of spiritual faith and knowledge helps us skate through challenges that inevitably occur. Well established roots help us bend, not break, when winds of change become fierce.
When I counsel people who are struggling with life’s toughest challenges—the death of a child, a loved one who died by suicide, etc.—I share the evidence that life is never-ending but often-changing. It’s just the way life on Earth is set up.
Living a long life brings a predictable cascade of changes, major sufferings such as death, divorce, relationship breakups, financial loss, broken dreams, serious illness, and disability, etc. Then there are those more minor outward physical changes like grey hair and baldness, bodily degeneration, children growing up, and other transitions.
Coping with even the relatively minor changes that accompany life is not easy. When my younger daughter went away to college, my heart ached as I saw her empty room and didn’t see her in front of the bathroom mirror for hours. For years, I had eagerly anticipated sleeping in instead of fixing her breakfast and helping her off to school, but now I missed it.
As my body begins its sixth decade, wrinkles, skin spots, white hairs, and baldness have become all too familiar. These are little things when we’re primarily identified with our spiritual essence, but they’re still tough to encounter. Recently while driving, I glanced in the rearview mirror and thought, “That looks like my grandpa.” Then I cringed when I realized it was me.
Parenthetically, the fact that most people feel young inside despite outward aging is, I believe, due to the fact that our real selves do not age.
Our souls are spiritually immortal even though they are housed in a physically mortal package.
Changes that accompany aging cause us to look at life differently than when we were youthful. Once we’ve discovered our true roots—as magnificent and imperishable spiritual beings—we can better withstand the winds of life’s challenges. The wise person prepares him or herself in advance and uses enlightenment to grow amidst changes.
We, as souls, came to this unique planet to serve others, enjoy, and learn lessons. Handling life’s changes results in greater patience, love, wisdom, and other priceless attributes. These qualities are well worth the price and bring us closer to God.
Most people have wondered why there’s so much change—some people call it suffering—and why God would allow even relatively minor adversity.
Simply put, we cause much of our own suffering by inappropriate thoughts, words, and deeds toward ourselves and others. The rest is created by excessive attachment to the illusion of physicality, by forgetting that our real selves cannot be hurt and do not die. That’s why we suffer while going through perfectly safe and natural life cycles such as aging and change.
The second part of the question—why God allows it—is easy: we have free will. We’re not puppets on strings or automatons. If Creator set everything up perfectly, there would be no room for choice, experimentation, or exploration. We would essentially be robots since there would be no alternatives from which to choose.
Life is a lot like watching a series of plays or movies. You would get bored watching the same movie every day. In much the same way, we spend eternity going through a series of experiences that expose us to the richness and diversity of life. When one episode is over, there are countless others to co-create and experience. Much evidence suggests that this analogy is much more apt than many people suspect.
Finally, life’s challenges build spiritual muscles—much like weight-lifting. As I review my life, I clearly see that some of the most important lessons occurred after suffering took me out of my comfort zone. When life is easy, we don’t have to stretch and search like we do when confronted with intense struggles. How much strength would I develop if I went to the gym and the other athletes said, “You take it easy today, Mark. Have a seat and we’ll do the lifting.” It’s the same way in life.
Remembering all this will help you enjoy the show and keep it all in perspective—no matter what minor or major transitions you may face.
As always, feel free to contact me if you have questions so you can deeply know you are an integral and infinite part of Source Energy/God/Life and enjoy the greatest life you have envisioned.
Mark Pitstick, MA, DC is an author, holistic chiropractic physician, clinical psychologist, frequent media guest, and workshop leader who helps you know and show your magnificence in body, mind, and spirit—no matter what is going on around you. Visit his websites at www.soulproof.com and www.radiantwellness.com for free radio shows, e-mail newsletters, and articles. Contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org to schedule Soul Proof Experience workshops for your church/group and ask him your toughest questions.