Do bad things happen to good people? Do good things happen to bad people? Is it also possible that things just happen and people judge both themselves and their circumstances as good and bad?
Stress occurs when we resist what is. When we create meaning in our minds about what we see with our eyes, and that meaning is hurtful, then we feel limited. When we feel limited, we feel weak and powerless. When we believe we are separate from our Source (however you perceive that), we believe a lie. And the result of believing a lie is always pain.
From this perspective, we might say that we are inventing the reality we experience based on our perception and interpretation of it. If we allow ourselves to step into this context, then everything happens for us (rather than to us), for the sole purpose of learning.
But what is the lesson we are here to learn? If we really deduce everything down to its core, we find there are really only 2 emotional states that drive everything we feel and do: love and fear. Love is not being used here in the romantic sense, but as creative power and unity. Love unites and fear separates. In other words, where fear judges, love forgives. And ultimately, this is what we are here to learn…how to forgive ourselves and those whom we perceive as being outside of ourselves.
Forgiveness allows us to recognize all pain as a call for love and lets us see the success in our failures. Forgiveness sets us free from the hurtful meanings we have created that imprison us in a mind that believes it is separate from its Source and limited.
When we experience fear, we can immediately realize that we are judging ourselves and our situations from a place of lack and separation. We can ask ourselves instead, how would Love respond to this? What is the Truth of this? If we are One, then there can be no separation and thus, there can be no lack or limitation in Ultimate Reality. If we step into this way of thinking and being (even if we can’t truly believe it or understand it) our simple willingness to see love instead of fear results in a peaceful outcome.
Peace is the absence of conflict in the mind. And thus, we can recognize Love in all things, “good and bad” by simply being willing to remove judgment. As a Course in Miracles teaches, “God is in everything I see, because God is in my mind.”
Our egos will scream: “I have to judge cruelty as wrong and evil as bad! I can’t remove judgment!” This is not to say that we deny the problem. We recognize the call for Love that holds the problem in place and we come from Love in how we respond with a solution. As Mother Teresa once explained, “I was once asked why I don’t participate in anti-war demonstrations. I said that I will never do that, but as soon as you have a pro-peace rally, I’ll be there.”