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Life is Happening FOR Us: All Things Are Gifts

“Your task is not to seek love, but merely to seek and find all the barriers within yourself that you have built against it.” ~Rumi

Up to a certain point in my life, I was always seeking approval and validation from everything outside of me. All I ever wanted was to feel loved. I longed for this feeling and wondered how the world could be so cruel as to reject me when I was so loving and available.

I have since learned that I was not as available as I thought.

It has been my experience that everyone that crosses our path is a mirror. They have come because we have called them into our lives to show us something—to teach us how to be more of who we truly are.

Our higher selves crave these experiences and relationships, because ultimately, this journey we call life is all about finding everything we want within us rather than without. It’s about waking up.

I have learned this over many years of things not turning out the way I wanted them to, feeling as though I was a victim and life was just not fair. I felt this way until I finally got it—I finally understood that life is happening for us. Yes, for us.

When I experience rejection in my external world, it is only because there are still places within myself where I am rejecting me. This means I am still vibrating on the same frequency as rejection. As long as I reject me, I will continue to attract people and situations that reject me, because we attract the people, places, and things that are a vibrational match to ourselves.

If I’m conscious about this, I can use these experiences as opportunities to break down the fear that keeps me from fully giving and receiving my own love and love from other people.

I have the choice to sink into my truth and be available to the pain I feel; and then to use it as a tool for healing. By giving it my attention, I can then fully feel it and process it.

When we feel through our charges and allow ourselves to really have the experience, then the charge within us dissolves and no longer attracts more of itself into our lives. This can be hard to accept at first because it is much easier to blame someone else for our pain and sorrow.

But actually that is an illusion, too. In the end, it is much easier and way more productive to take full responsibility for everything that “happens to us.”

If we can live life consciously and authentically—understanding that things do not happen to us, but rather for us—we can use everything that comes in to our as experience to our benefit. We can locate all the barriers that keep us from beauty, love, abundance, intimacy, joy, and good health.

Recently, I confessed my feelings of affection to someone who didn’t feel the same way for me. I’ve avoided this for a long time. I was so afraid of feeling rejected that I pushed my feelings down for almost two years.

However, as I grew and evolved, I considered that the entire relationship was there for me to heal. I was meant to look my fear of rejection in the eyes and learn to love myself through it.

So that is exactly what I did. I came clean. I had external integrity and shared my heart with him in a way I never could have imagined doing just a few short months ago. Now that he knows how deeply I care for him, I feel like my wounds are on the mend.

I continue to have internal integrity and allow myself to feel all the fears his rejection triggered, such as “I‘ll never be good enough,” or “I‘ll never be chosen,” or “I‘ll never get what I want because there is something wrong with me.”

Previously, I was holding myself back in my interactions with him because I was afraid to feel these things. Once I accepted that this relationship was happening for me, I realized I had to risk potential rejection.

If I didn’t because I didn’t feel worthy, my fears would prevent me from attracting the level of intimacy that blossoms from open, honest, loving relationships.

Rejection was the only way through these walls I’d built. It was time to feel the fear and do it anyway, for my own good.

Now, I’m not afraid of rejection because I’m not rejecting me. I can feel gratitude for it, and every other emotion I experience, because all of it is relevant—all of it is there for me to heal my wounds so I can be free.

I’m learning to love myself more as I use my life to break down the barriers within me that keep me from returning to love.

Next time you feel unappreciated, frustrated, or rejected, do yourself a favor and use them as opportunities. Put them in your box of healing tools.

Then ask yourself: how could these people, places, or things show you the barriers within yourself that keep you from experiencing all the love, peace, and joy you long for? Remember—our external world is only a reflection of our internal world.

What does your internal world look like? To change within is to change without. Much love and so much light to you all.

Photo by Dave Morrow’s Custom Creations

Avatar of Erin Lanahan

About Erin Lanahan

Erin is an Internationally Certified Holistic Health Coach, Personal Trainer, Yoga Instructor, Motivational Writer/Speaker & Life Empowerment Mentor. Her mission is to inspire as many people as possible to return to their natural state of peace, abundance, health, inspiration & love. Visit her blog  and  You Tube Page.

Announcement: Wish you could change your past? Learn to let go and create a life you love with the Tiny Buddha course!
  • holly

    this is beautiful

  • Erin Lanahan

    Thanks Holly:) Happy to Be of Service! Happy Holidays!
    -Erin

  • Erin Lanahan

    Thanks Holly:) Happy to Be of Service! Happy Holidays!
    -Erin

  • SP

    Erin, this article really resonates for me. Makes me want to share it with others. In the past, I was drawn to relationships in which I eventually saw the other person as self-absorbed. That might imply to me that I am the one who is self-absorbed. But, as I have taken a sabbatical from relationships and focused more on my own stuff (seemingly MORE self-absorption), I find that the people in my life are more giving, more compassionate, etc. Thank you for the article.

  • Erin Lanahan

    It’s an honor to share our experiences. Thank you for sharing with me as well:-)
    Erin

  • MD

    I can always tell when I come to Tiny Buddha if the post I’m reading is meant for me because it is uncomfortable to read the post. Erin, today’s post was very uncomfortable to read. I didn’t want to finish. You written about something that has been tumbling around inside me for months now. Thank you for finding words to describe something I knew but couldn’t express.

    Of course my doubts remain but you’ve provided some light to acknowledge them by.

  • http://uzma7.wordpress.com Uzma

    A very very clear article. Conveys the meaning so clearly, and practically. Hard to embody always, yet a worthy struggle. Thanks for a great article.

  • Erin Lanahan

    You are so welcome, it is a gift for me to share that which wants it’s expression through me, with you. Thank you for sharing Uzma.
    xo Erin

  • Erin Lanahan

    Oh I totally know what you mean! Whenever I am resisting something, I always know it’s exactly what I need! LOL, but this can feel like a pain in the you know what sometimes:) However, I find that the more I committ to higher consciousness and awareness…to awakening, the more willing I am to really surrender to the knowing that life happens FOR me. I am now at a point where there is no other option anymore, I have taken the blue pill, lol, and there is no turning back. So I say, bring it…I will use all of it to heal.
    Thanks for sharing,
    Erin

  • Karen

    Thank you Sarah for bullet pointing some of the same excerpts I felt so connected to.
    I’m about to repost this on my FB page as well.
    And Lori – thanks for choosing such great posts!

  • Erin Lanahan

    Thank you Sarah, I appreciate you highlighting those parts as well. They really are the tools I reach for these days:) I appreciate you, and I’m so happy to be on this journey with you. Happy Holidays!
    Erin

  • Erin Lanahan

    Thank you Karen. I appreciate the repost. It’s such a gift to share with others isn’t it:) Good to connect here, on this wonderful cyberspace haven. Happy Holidays.
    Erin

  • http://twitter.com/sarahneanbruce sarah nean bruce

    THANK YOU ERIN! yet another fantastique article post tiny buddha! here are some excerpts that especially and exceptionally resonate & vibrate with me~sb
    PS-I posted your article on my facebook profile/fanpage to share with my 4500+ followers/friends
    ~*~
    Now, I’m not afraid of rejection because I’m not rejecting me.
    ~*~
    If I’m conscious about this, I can use these experiences as opportunities to break down the fear that keeps me from …fully giving and receiving my own love and love from other people.
    ~*~
    If we can live life consciously and authentically—understanding that things do not happen to us, but rather for us—we can use everything that comes in to our as experience to our benefit. We can locate all the barriers that keep us from beauty, love, abundance, intimacy, joy, and good health.
    ~*~
    Then ask yourself: how could these people, places, or things show you the barriers within yourself that keep you from experiencing all the love, peace, and joy you long for? Remember—our external world is only a reflection of our internal world.

  • Anonymous

    Erin,
    I read this and immediatly had a knot in my throat and began to cry. This was so difficult to read and process. So I meditated on what I was feeling, with my recent experience of feeling everything you have written about…..I have to just learn and let go…and love me…exactly for who I am. Thank you!! .

  • Kasandra Brown

    I had a very similar reaction to this article. I felt like I just wanted to cry and keep re-reading it. Thank you for sharing!

  • http://twitter.com/lori_deschene Lori Deschene

    Thank you Karen! I feel very fortunate to be part of a site that attracts such passionate, inspiring writers and readers. So many posts touch me and push me to see things from new angles. Running this site it is a gift. =)

  • Maria

    I agree with you on the whole. Everything what happens to us is the result of our thoughts. When I changed my thoughts I got everything I wanted and as I wanted! My dreams have come true, but I have a lot of dreams! :)
    I hope people understand the main idea of the article and their lives will become better…

  • lost

    I keep finding my self reading and re-reading this article, I am going through a very confusing time with my “boyfriend”. He is sending mixed signals one days he loves me and wants to be with me the next day he wont talk to me or text me. He is a buddhist and he says he needs time to figure things out. He can see a future with me but not right now. I know that I am allowing this to happen, I have not dated in 6 years so I am out of the loop. I have sat with this and meditated, I feel that he is the right person for me or else I wouldnthave allowed him in my life..any help would be nice.

  • lost

    I keep finding my self reading and re-reading this article, I am going through a very confusing time with my “boyfriend”. He is sending mixed signals one days he loves me and wants to be with me the next day he wont talk to me or text me. He is a buddhist and he says he needs time to figure things out. He can see a future with me but not right now. I know that I am allowing this to happen, I have not dated in 6 years so I am out of the loop. I have sat with this and meditated, I feel that he is the right person for me or else I wouldnthave allowed him in my life..any help would be nice.

  • http://twitter.com/pushbuttonkitty Emily Parker

    Amazing post.

    “It has been my experience that everyone that crosses our path is a mirror. They have come because we have called them into our lives to show us something—to teach us how to be more of who we truly are.”

    I’ve always felt this so deeply. Everything happens for a reason, but that reason doesn’t always have something to do with us. Sometimes we’re staged to be in a certain place at a certain time, saying a certain thing, because that’s what someone else needs. So many times I’ve been at a gas station, or in line somewhere, or whatever the scenario is, and someone has said something which for them may have totally been an offhand comment, but for me it would resonate through my soul. I was there because I needed to hear those words, and they were there to say them for me, even if they weren’t saying them to me. If that is true, then the the reverse is true, as well, and I have been the one saying the words that for someone else delivered the same potency.

    Life is this beautiful, amazing thing that we share with all other living things on this planet. We are small and insignificant in the grand scheme of things, and yet at the same time so godlike in the power of our choices. We need not be afraid. All of our fear that keeps us from truly living is just our fear of ourselves. If we would quit fighting it, and give ourselves over to it, the good and the bad, the hurt and the joy, then the boundaries separating the two would dissolve and we will be able to find joy even in our pain, and there would be nothing to fear from life ever again.

    Thank you for sharing this post!

  • http://big-zen.blogspot.com/ Big Zen

    You make a very subtle but powerful distinction by shifting the phrase ‘happening to us’ to ‘happening for us’. That makes a big difference. I’ve always liked the metaphor of others as a mirror, that can also completely shift the way we approach things. Very nice post :)

  • Erin Lanahan

    Wow…so nicely put Emily…I totally agree:) Thank you for sharing.
    Erin

  • Erin Lanahan

    Ultimately you are the only one who really knows what is happening for you. But maybe this is an opportunity to practice trust and self love and self acceptance. When we cling so tightly to someone or some thing working out in the way we think it should, it’s usually because we do not trust that the universe has got our back. Maybe this is what your relationship is showing you? Maybe it’s helping you heal your relationship with Source, and helping you learn to trust that everything is happening in your favor, even if it doesn’t look like that right now. My favorite saying is “When we ask God for patience, God gives us lines.” We get the opportunity to LEARN patience:) Practice letting go and just feel through the uncomfortable feelings that come up around giving him space. Feel the fear and sadness but do it anyway. Keep your focus on YOU. Continue to check in with your own tempertaure and making sure you are being loved and taken care of the way your heart really wants. Sending you so much love and light Kasandra!
    Erin

  • SL

    Money.

  • Ed Gauvreau

    I couldn’t quite understand this post, it seems to speak in an abstract kind of way…..I’m 59 and have read many insights like this, sounds good, but not very practical in real life…………

  • Erin Lanahan

    Hi Ed…yes, this concept can feel a bit challenging to wrap our heads around at first. It’s hard to really commit to taking FULL responsibility for all that comes into our experience. It is hard for me too. However, for me at least, this helps me shift my perception. So instead of blaming someone else for my unhappiness or disappointments, or instead of getting mad at God or Life for my life not looking the way I think it should, I can shift the way I see things. This is ultimately the ONLY thing any of us CAN do. We CANNOT control our external world, but we can our internal one. I can allow what is happening to work in my favor, and to help me see more of the places inside myself that need love, and light, and healing. For me, every person, place, thing, circumstance, is like a mirror, showing me something about my own level of consciousness. The more something triggers me, or the more resistant I am to it, the more I know it is offering me a way to heal, and it is actually a doorway to higher consciousness. However, the healing only comes if and when I am WILLING to let the trigger be a gift FOR me, and to help me access a deeper awareness and truth about how I am behaving in, and perceiving the world around me. Hoping this helps. Happy Holidays.
    Erin

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  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Michelle-Sears/100001061741018 Michelle Sears

    This is a wonderful post. I could really feel your love coming out of this writing. That is what I try to bring across to all my visitors to my self esteem building website because loving yourself is the key that opens the doors we have all built within ourselves. Thank you and God bless, Michelle

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Blerta-Haxhijaha/627218683 Blerta Haxhijaha

    I absolutely love this post, and thank you for this additional explanation as well. Healing is such a powerful concept- I’ve been thinking a lot recently on all the wounds we may get from our external world if we let events and unpleasing situations pass unchecked. But if, as you suggest, choose to welcome them in our lives in order to heal our wounds and as a result, be as free and joyful as a young child, and remove our barriers to love – then we grow so much and remove all illusions and dependencies on external circumstances. Thank you.

  • Erika L.

    This is a very powerful and couragous post!!! Thank you for sharing this informationn, I agree 100% with everything you wrote..

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  • Keturahlevien

    I found your article so uplifting, I myself declared my love for a guy but in my case my fear was a combination of rejection and of missing an oppurtunity. But as you said it has just made me even more fearless cause i took the positives from the situation and it helped me develop and mature. Thanks again!

  • Heathersrus

    This is a phenomenal post even two years later!
    Thank you so much for sharing Erin! It was exactly what I needed to hear at this exact point in my life :)

  • Margaret

    Wow…this was powerful!  Lori, thank you for reposting so that I could catch it the 2nd time around when I’m at a time/place to be able to absorb it and appreciate it so wholeheartedly.  Erin, thank you for your openness and willingness to share your experience and profound learnings that I find so healing.  What a beautiful gift to receive today!

  • Paula Johnson

    Ditto from me Margaret – thanks Lori/Erin - I particularly resonate with ”rejecting myself”.  I have never heard that before and now that I think about it that’s exactly what I’ve been doing…thereby attracting others who reject me also!  Lightbulb - thank you!!

  • Juliaecalderon

    Thank you so much for re-posting this! I learned and experienced this change a few months ago and let me tell you, it’s a blessing, inner peace. Breaking free from fear and pain. Feeling alive and one with the universe wasn’t a line written on my notepad anymore. It is my reality :) 

  • Lv2terp

    This is a wonderful post, and something I have been trying to wrap my head around, and start living on a consistant basis….very challenging! I need to read this a few more times, and hope to accomplish this soon for myself and my close relationships! I appreciate this timing of your wisdom!! :-)

  • Heather

    Erin, I really needed to hear this tonight, as I was battling within myself after being rejected: “Was I rejecting myself? Is that why this is manifesting? Or am I rejecting myself now because I am rejected;)? The chicken/egg thing..But it doesn’t matter–I just need to love the places that are getting rejected–and they’re specific! That external mirror is sharing details.

  • Brent Oh

    Good Post

  • Gemmajam2

    It seems as if every time I read one of your articles, it is what I NEED to read in that moment. I had taken the last 2 weeks to vacate from work and went back home to visit with friends and family. I planned certain events and invited a ton of people, expecting that only a few would attend. Just as I thought, those that said they were excited and couldn’t wait to see me were no shows and those who came were the ones who usually show. I used to allow the “no shows” to upset me; but this time was different. I was able to enjoy the company of the people who attended instead of worrying about those who didn’t. I used to feel rejected by those who didn’t attend instead of appreciated by those who did. I realize that my self-talk was fill of rejection for myself. Now of late I am practicing loving myself and appreciating me for who I am because I’m a pretty fun person! I ended up having a wonderful vacation with people I really care for and love. :)

  • Erin

    Wow, what an amazing post. Thank you for sharing Erin. I love the lines: “It has been my experience that everyone that crosses our path is a
    mirror. They have come because we have called them into our lives to
    show us something—to teach us how to be more of who we truly are.” So often I miss people that have come in my life and gone, but most times it’s not them I miss, it’s what they brought to my life- spirituality, love, etc. This was such a poignant post and so true. Thank for your words.