“Make a game of finding something positive in every situation.  Ninety-five percent of your emotions are determined by how you interpret events to yourself.”  Brian Tracy 

I’m sure you’ve heard and/or used the phrase many times. “Well, I guess it’s all for the best,” we proclaim, when something unexpected happens to interfere with our own little plans. These words are a way of consoling ourselves and staving off disappointment.  But, even though you may be momentarily disappointed at a particular turn of events, this phrase reminds you of an important truth — that EVERYTHING that happens in your life is ultimately for your Highest Good.  

Life is never without its challenges, no matter how adept we are at manifesting what we want. Inevitably, sometimes things happen to us that appear to be a tragedy — or at least an unwelcome surprise. Perhaps, although you tried your hardest, you didn’t get the specific outcome you thought would be “good” for you at the time. Yet, when you eventually gained more perspective on the situation, haven’t you usually realized that what occurred was ultimately “for the best” for you and others involved?  When that happens, we become aware that a Force far bigger and wiser than ourselves appears to have stepped in and worked things out for our HIGHEST good, after all — despite the initial setback to our own little human plans. 

One of these “For the Best” events happened to Rick and me on May 5, which was, coincidentally, our third wedding anniversary. Being a “morning person,” I awoke at 6:30am, as usual. And as I was putting on my slippers, Rick turned over and spoke to me, which is NOT usual for him that early in the morning. 

“When you go out to get the paper,” he said in an even tone, “you’ll notice the Explorer isn’t there.”  Since the 2005 Ford Explorer is his car, and I knew he hadn’t taken it to the shop, my stomach felt suddenly queasy.  That’s when I remembered that there had been some commotion in the middle of the night, with our dog Samantha suddenly barking loudly in our son’s room. Rick got up quickly to investigate and when he didn’t come right back to bed, I must have fallen back asleep and not awoken until the alarm rang.  Oh my God,” I thought. “Rick’s car has been stolen! How can he be so calm?” 

I never could have anticipated the next words out of his mouth: “Two men came to the door at 1:00 A.M. That’s what Sam was barking at.  They were nice enough to hand me all my things that were in the car. Then they towed it away.”  Rick’s SUV had been repossessed by the bank, just nine payments shy of being paid off! 

At first, I was in total shock.  How could this happen?  We had just paid our attorney $150 to file papers with the court a couple of months ago, renewing our agreement to resume making payments on the car.  We had skipped paying for four months while we went through the very painful process of filing for bankruptcy.  

We had reluctantly come to the conclusion that bankruptcy protection was the only viable solution to the mountain of debt we had accumulated in trying for too long to hold onto the lovely big home we bought to start our life together, which just happened to be at the top of the market. Since then, its value has fallen over $200,000. My husband has been a successful full-time realtor for the last 13 years, and we kept hoping against hope that the market would turn around. Instead, the real estate “crash” was more severe and dragged on far, far longer than anyone in the business had ever seen, and both Rick’s income and our home equity dried up at the same time.

We are grateful to say that, with the dawn of a new decade, the light at the end of our personal dark financial tunnel has finally been lit, too.  Rick has been very busy with real estate since January, and with three big deals due to close in May, we have been eagerly looking forward to paying off our last creditors and entering our new financial future with hope and enthusiasm. That’s why we filed those papers, which the bank signed, saying that we could resume paying his car loan this very month. 

“This is a terrible injustice!” I thought. “We need to get our attorney to straighten this out!”  But it was too early to call anyone, so instead I went out and got the paper and stared at the empty space where the Explorer had been parked when we went to bed.  I made my coffee and sat down to try to read, but I just couldn’t concentrate on world news when my own life seemed to be badly messed up at the moment.  

Because I have complete faith that everything that happens is ultimately for our Highest Good, I had no doubt that this mistake would eventually get straightened out.  Still, I wasn’t looking forward to the wasted hours of phone calls, red tape and probable impound fees we would have to endure before Rick could get his car back.  So, to calm myself and re-focus my thoughts on what I WANT, instead of what I DON’T want, I did what I always recommend to my clients; I started listing all the things that I am grateful for at this very moment. 

Rick and our son, Matthew, were first on the list, of course.  And Samantha the dog and Maui the cat.  Next, came our lovely home, which we are grateful to have kept as a rental all this time, despite having lost the bigger, fancier house that we bought together before our wedding.  Since moving back to this smaller house where Rick and Matthew lived before we met, I have come to appreciate its cozy beauty. Rick and I especially love sitting on the patio, sipping a glass of wine, enjoying the backyard full of roses, breathtaking sunsets and panoramic views of Orange County that stretch 100 miles. 

But on my third wedding anniversary morning, what I was most specifically grateful for was my beautiful 2002 silver VW Passat, which I had purchased as a single woman in 2004 with my then-perfect credit. And I was particularly grateful that it was in good running condition and that it was completely PAID for.  My own little scheme had been to sell my car to get the money to pay off Rick’s Explorer, just as soon as our bankruptcy was discharged. 

It had always been our plan to keep the Ford Explorer, even when two months ago we discovered it was in need of a new transmission, having put on well over 100,000 miles hauling teenagers and their hockey equipment to scores of games and driving dozens of clients to view homes all over Southern California.  Neither of us questioned that the newer, bigger SUV was the one to keep, although we sometimes regretted its thirst for gas — a far less painful drawback in 2005, when gas prices were low and home prices were high. 

I couldn’t believe it!  Just a few days ago we had been giving THANKS for the big real estate commissions that would be coming in soon. That money was how we were going to be able to pay $3,500 for a new transmission and $1500 or so for new tires and brakes, plus whatever it would cost to fix the radio that had taken to turning itself up to full volume whenever we turned the knob to make it softer. Altogether, it was going to cost around $5,000 just to keep it running, and now it was GONE! 

Pondering that seemingly-ironic turn of events caused a light bulb to go off for me. Without a second thought, we were about to fork over a very big chunk of Rick’s long-awaited income, just to make a five-year-old car drivable again and to pay off the loan balance and avoid the remaining sizable monthly loan payments, so we can begin to rebuild financially. Out of nowhere, I got a whole new perspective on this apparent “tragedy,” which had never occurred to me before now. The repossession had happened just two days after the discharge of our bankruptcy, and we hadn’t even had time to call the lawyer or the bank to ask how they wanted to arrange to get their money.  

Maybe, I thought, this startling turn of events was the Universe’s way of STOPPING us from taking actions that weren’t for our Highest Good! Maybe spending $10,000 on fixing up and paying off a five-year-old SUV was NOT “the Best” for us! If we wanted to, we could instead use that cash to buy a newer, more cost-effective used car. Or we can simply choose to enjoy the peace of mind that comes from driving a nice car with NO payments and NO significant maintenance needs! 

That’s it! The Repo Men actually did us a huge favor.  In fact, you could say that the bank gave us $10,000 cash for our anniversary! Oh, yes, and the Explorer’s registration renewal notice came in the mail later that very afternoon.  So I guess we can add another $250 to that generous gift… Happy Anniversary, indeed! 

What is going on in your own life right now that looks like a “tragedy” or a “problem”?  I invite you to try on a new perspective, and ask yourself, “How might this situation actually turn out to be for my HIGHEST Good?  And what steps do I need to take to help it do so?”  I bet you will be surprised by the answer.  The Universe is so much wiser than we humans are and it always has a 30,000 – foot view of  life, while we can only see it from five and a half or six feet off the ground!  

So, remember that, while you are busy fretting and worrying and pushing hard to try to come with your own imperfect plan to solve your problem du jour, the Universe is just standing by, waiting patiently for you to stop flailing around and simply quiet your mind to be able to receive the perfect “How” that it has already figured out for you.  

And then you can really mean it when you say, Wow! It WAS for the best, after all!”

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How Are Your 2010 Goals Coming Along?

Remember all those big, wonderful New Year’s resolutions and inspiring goals you set for yourself with such enthusiasm and optimism back in January?  

Well, how are you doing on fulfilling them?  Are you where you thought you’d be by now?  Or have you already succumbed to Resolution Resignation and given up on your dreams?  Are you afraid it’s already too late to have 2010 go the way YOU wanted it to? 

On Tuesday May 18, Coach Sue Koch and I will present a F.R.E.E. 60-minute Tele-class entitled June Re-Start: It’s Not Too Late to Reach Your 2010 Goals!  In one powerful hour, we will show you that it’s NOT TOO LATE to wipe the slate clean and get a Fresh Start on your 2010 Goals!  

Don’t miss this opportunity, if you are ready to…

  • Clean out the “junk drawer” of your past to make room for exhilarating new possibilities
  • Discover the biggest goal-setting mistakes and how to eliminate them forever
  • Learn the secret to making your Big, Juicy Goals turn out successfully – with ease
  • Crash through the roadblocks to success once and for all
  • Find out how to make your Big, Juicy Dreams come true and have FUN doing it! 

Here’s what a few past participants in our Fresh Start 2010 tele-seminar have to say about what they got to help them reach their Big, Juicy Goals this year: 

“I got a lot out of this course.  It made me realize what my true goal is and to start creating from that to get what I want for my family and myself… I will definitely use the tools from this course moving forward.” – Marci Ginger 

“This course made me realize what I was hiding from myself and my dreams behind my escape mechanism of self-induced clutter…” – Toni Federe   

In the past, I’ve had issues with saying I will do something and then letting it fall by the wayside. I am confident that with the Action Plan and accountability structures that this course helped me create, I will complete my journey to fulfilling my dream!  Thank you for getting me into action — FINALLY! ” – Penny Kempfert 

Please join us on Tuesday, May 18 at 6pm Pacific for this invaluable F.R.E.E. information to help you make 2010 THE BEST year of your life yet!  Just email me to register and even if you can’t be with us live, you will receive a replay link for the call.  

Your questions and comments are always welcome!  Please contact me at: caroll@practicalprosperitycoach.com.