I want to share a story. Recently my dad retold one of his favorite old stories, which I’m pretty sure you’ve heard before somewhere in a different narrative:
A farmer had a beautiful white horse. One night the horse ran away. When the neighbors learned of his misfortune, they came to offer their sympathy saying, “We are so sorry for your bad luck.” They were surprised by the farmer’s response when he said, “Could be bad luck, could also be good luck, you never know.”
The next day the farmer’s horse returns together with a beautiful black horse. The neighbors come to congratulate him saying, “You are so lucky, not only has your horse returned, you now have two beautiful horses.” Again, the farmer’s reply baffled them when he said, “Could be good luck, could also be bad luck, you never know.”
The next day the farmer’s son is thrown off of the black horse while riding, and he breaks his leg.
The neighbors come again to comfort the farmer saying, “We are so sorry to hear of your son’s bad luck.” Again, the farmer replies,“Could be good luck, could also be bad luck, you never know.”
The next day, military officials come to the village to take every able-bodied young man to go fight in a war.
All the young men of the village are taken except for the farmer’s son, who could not serve in the war with a broken leg.
In the end, he is the only young man in the village to survive the war—all because of his Bad-Good Luck.
Now I promise I’m not drawn to this story because it’s about someone who falls off a horse and breaks something significant. I had actually just read this same folktale (I believe in one of Rabbi Leder’s books) when I came across my dad retelling me his own version, which made me feel like there’s definitely something in here that I’m supposed to take. And so I’ve been going over it for weeks, turning over this concept of Luck and how quick we are to reject or accept it without any context of time.
As this story conveys, who’s to say whether something is good or bad in the moment.
“Even when something seems truly terrible, sometimes it’s protecting you or taking you on the path you are going to walk.”
In one of my earliest conversations with my Husband, who is also an incredibly Intuitive human, told me “Just because we don’t get what we want in the moment, or get something we really don’t want, it doesn’t mean that the outcome isn’t for our greater good. We are playing a long game. Hold our heads high with Clear intentions, and Never compare ourselves to anyone, because this is our path, not theirs.”
As the spiritual leaders say, “light on the other side can interfere in remarkable ways, to protect us, even if it feels like unwanted interference.”
We tend to judge and label all our experiences in life as Good or Bad, desirable or undesirable. This is a manifestation of our fixation on desires. Most of us have a running commentary going on in our brains that either approves or disapproves of everything we experience. When things do not match our idea of how they should be, we often feel distress. We are rarely willing to just take life as it comes and wait and see what happens. But, as the story suggests, good and bad are not absolute categories, nor are they readily predictable. Light can emerge from darkness, and good can come out of seemingly bad luck.
And so for the ending of the year 2022, I’ve come to an understanding that we all need dark nights. Growth requires death (Just as a garden requires compost). Death of ideas, relationships, jobs, identities, wants and desires, and sometimes even people. It’s not necessarily what we want, but sometimes it is what we need in order to push us into a process of moving ahead, where we have to get down on our knees and relearn to stand again.
May we learn to take each thing as it comes, without judgment, and instead as an opportunity to find the lesson, or more importantly, let the lesson unfold over time.
This year for me was a mixed bag of the story I shared above. I hope the brokenness and vulnerability takes me to wherever I’m supposed to go with it. With a clear heart and good intentions, I welcome 2023 for You & Me. Let the new class begin, and here’s to keeping our head high and intentions clear.
I would love to hear your experience with 2022. Was this year a mixed bag of goods and bads? Or did it take you somewhere completely unimagined?
Love & Light