I can usually whip through a book in a couple of days. Just don’t give me a test on the book; I’d probably flunk it. I’m a skimmer-speed-reader kind of person, superficially humming through the description of the snow-covered fir boughs to get back to the plot ASAP.
That’s why it was so unusual that it took me a week to read a small, 200+ page book entitled When Everything Changes, Change Everything by Neale Donald Walsch. A whole week. Sometimes I’d walk 20 feet out of my way and up a flight of stairs just to avoid reading it.
When Everything Changes, Change Everything indeed.
Don’t get me wrong. It was an excellent book. Intriguing. The reason I avoided reading it had nothing to do with the way it was written.
I avoided it because I knew it made sense. You see, the message of the book was:
• We create and choose our own thoughts.
• We create our own emotions—we absolutely, positively can choose the way we are feeling.
• It is easy to look back and see the value of an event from a hindsight perspective. But we can also bring that perspective forward and view an event that way, even while it is happening.
• All change enhances life. There is no such thing as a “bad change” in our lives, even when it looks like something could not possibly be happening for the better.
• Life’s changes are neither arbitrary nor without rhyme or reason; they are part of a sophisticated pattern that sometimes takes a long time to understand.
• If people are honest, they will admit that some of the worst things that ever happened to them were actually some of the best things that ever happened to them.
• Sometimes individuals or large groups of people (even nations) experience unthinkable suffering (the Holocaust Jews, Jesus Christ, Buddha, Martin Luther King, Jr., Nelson Mandella, Mother Theresa). However, in time, their suffering stirred the entire world. This can also happen to ordinary people—it’s may just not be happening on a global scale.
• If we understand that everything that happens to us does so for a higher good, we no longer have to fear the future.
• It’s all good. Changes—they’re all for the good. It’s our goal to recognize and embrace that good.
What made it worse is that I knew the author was right. Dead on. Bulls-eye.
So now you see why I was avoiding that book like the plague. It is so much easier to believe that my dark, self-centered thoughts are justified. It’s so soothing to plunge into a bad mood and blame it on those around me. It’s so wonderful to submerge myself in the murky, self-pitying waters of “why is event this happening to ME, poor me???”
Darn it. Now that I’ve read the book, I can’t plead ignorance any more. I’ve been reminded that every change is for the better and constantly moves me forward. I know that I should look forward to future changes, even the painful ones, because it’s all good. It’s ALL good.