My life proves the old adage, “life is what happens when you have something else planned”. About 14 months ago, I was sitting on top of my tiny world, doing what I loved, advising a spiritual organization and healing people with energy healings. Then, without warning my happy, comfortable world suddenly came crashing down when I was asked by the leader to leave the organization and not come to the office again. I lost everything, including all of my money, prestige, self-esteem, self-respect and self-identity. Through these 14 months I learned or relearned a number of important principles of life that bear discussion, both for my own life going forward and hopefully for you as well.
First, NEVER DISEMPOWER YOURSELF TO ANYONE ELSE.
I was completely devoted to an Indian guru who claimed to have mystical powers that he was going to teach me as long as I did what he ordered me to do. Part of that was to give him all of my money. Never, ever, give away your power, your common sense, or your resources to someone claiming to have “special powers”, “special friends or influence” or “divine connection”. These people are predators and will prey on well-meaning or trusting souls.
Second, ALWAYS LISTEN TO YOUR GUT (INSTINCT).
While I was working with my former guru, oftentimes I had pangs that something was not right, that this man was an asshole and abused people. Yet I disregarded these warning signs in the hopes that he would not do that to me. I was more upset with myself when he abused me than I was with him. There is an old saying in the spiritual world, “common sense before spiritual sense.” It is true.
Third, PEOPLE CAN SURPRISE YOU AND BE THERE WHEN YOU NEED THEM.
Over the last 14 months, part of my effort was to turn around a company that my guru had bankrupted. That involved going to my family and ask for loans to help keep my company going. I had not been on good terms with my family; most of them felt I had abandoned them when I joined this spiritual organization and were upset when I gave them all of my money for various investments. However, my family came through for me with needed funds that I have since paid back. Sometimes people who love you will criticize you because they care about you, but in the end, still be supportive.
Fourth, GOD WILL TEACH YOU PATIENCE WHEN YOU LEAST WANT IT.
Another way of saying this is, “you can’t push a rope very far.” Over the last 14 months I refinanced a $2 million dollar mortgage on our manufacturing plant and sold it at a great profit. Both of these accomplishments took months of effort and long periods agonizing a lack of results. However, life unfolds if you let it and often turns out better than you planned. Again, you must allow it to unfold.
Fifth, NEVER GIVE UP ON YOURSELF.
I had never known that I had the courage and strength to take over a failing corporate business and make it successful. I had always been in the service industry. I never had to go to work every day wondering if there would be work to go to tomorrow. I had never had to survive living day to day without a salary because the business didn’t have the cash flow to pay me. I was forced to sell most of my valuable assets just to pay the bills. I had to ask for help and become vulnerable. I didn’t quit, and I finally profited by it. I prevailed.
Sixth, the most important lesson was to MASTER MY EMOTIONS.
I had never known the stress and anxiety the last year created in me. I had to learn how to deal with emotions I had never felt before, both as a businessman and a person. I had meltdowns I had never experienced before. I was running scared through a situation that was unknown to me. I was not the spiritual master I thought I was – oftentimes I felt like a scared little boy and alone. Although I alone needed to face myself, I always had the love, support and help of others. I learned that one must master their emotions lest they master you.
It was not a pretty year, but an incredibly powerful one, which brought many lessons and ample opportunity for me to discover all that I am, and all that I am not. Thankfully, things are coming back together for me. Turns out I was not who I thought I was before. I am not my success, loss or my experiences. I am much more than that.
Reprinted from The 3rdi Magazine