What do you mean by ‘surprise’?
Surprises come in all shapes and sizes. Sometimes an out-of-the-blue moment becomes a gift. Other experiences without warning throw us beyond the reach of our comfort zones.
Ella throws herself into the coaching chair, eager to share her latest story. Prior to her appointment, she receives a surprising and unexpected call from Jason. While surfing the internet, he finds Ella’s name and photo. Jason eventually locates her phone number and reaches out. Purpose of the call? Jason wants to say hello.
Jason and Ella went on one date in high school.
Life continuously places scenarios before us. There are two ways to approach these “set-ups” - the way of ego or the way of truth. Most often we lead ourselves down the ego path and get sucked into emotional drama and mental games. Less often we choose truth's path. Peace, Love and Joy on this path matter more than any temporary win with accompanying bad vibes. Practicing truth isn’t easy, yet the payoffs are profound and lasting.
For those invested in genuine growth and a truth mindset, the Path of Truth involves 4 key checkpoints:
1. Be curious
Blending inquisitiveness with a thirst for knowledge directs our imagination to partner and get answers. To invest in curiosity builds momentum and direction. Asking questions while avoiding conclusions is a great place to start to figure out meaning behind the unexpected. Here we don’t have to decide how to feel or act. We merely observe a scenario from a detached distance.
Ella and Jason bring each other up to speed on their current lives. Ella is happily married and has a family. Jason is single, a world traveler and has been involved in several long-term relationships. As Jason recalls the song on the radio and other long-ago remembrances from their only date, Ella strives to recall any details. She met Jason at a group event and he asked her out. They went to a movie. By evening's end, Ella had decided not to see Jason again.
Is this surprise a sign from the universe?
Jason's out-of-the-blue call gives Ella pause. Why is Jason is calling? Is he coming from a place of sincerity or fantasy? Is this an opportunity for Ella to help herself grow in some way?
How do I handle this incoming experience?
Ella’s flattered by Jason’s call. But after an hour of listening to Jason’s accounts of his love life, she concludes Jason is sad and lonely. Ella considers how to end the call, and make it clear that Jason cannot call her again.
What else do I need to know?
Perplexed by the call, Ella seeks more answers. She feels herself juggling to participate in a conversation she doesn't know the purpose of, and at the same time trying to discern its meaning for her.
Ella finds it helpful to get in touch with her boundaries around Jason. So far, her mind
2. Collect information
If we’re confused about what is happening, we might require additional information. Gathering facts is a stark way to determine how an experience fits. Is it a lesson? An answer? Nothing at all? Use caution in the exploration phase. If we hunt for non-existent answers, we may spiral into obsessive fantasy or desperation. The situation may have flung us back into an old pattern that’s ready for release.
Before saying goodbye, Ella thanks Jason for calling and half-heartedly invites him to stay connected via Facebook. She doesn’t extend an invitation to meet or suggest they speak again.
Ella’s curiosity gets the best of her. After their conversation, she goes online to find out everything she can about Jason. Did he tell her the truth? Is he a stalker? Although Ella finds no information about Jason, her ego transports her to a place of fear and uncertainty. Why does she unravel so deeply after this call?
3. Make choices
Once questions are asked and information is at hand, it’s time to choose the path of ego or the path of truth. Awareness allows choosing between healing or suffering.
Ella and her coach explore options. Which is more worthy..... to continue her online search for a reason Jason called (ego), or to uncover why the call and her reaction has left her unsettled and in search for its higher meaning (truth)?
Ella reveals to her coach that a former college flame once tracked her for years. She initially thought it better to take his calls. She feared he might otherwise try to in some way hurt her. She also felt the calls might help them turn a corner, and reestablish a fresh foundation on which to start over.
Now, instead of perceiving a genuine and sympathetic phone call from an old friend, Ella's fantasy headed straight down the rabbit hole. She started to ruminate over the ex. He had a lot of anger and resentment following the breakup. His continuing phone calls were game-playing, with the intention to regain his power and hurt her. Ella was conflating Jason with her ex.
4. Commit yourself to a new way of being
Thanks to Jason, Ella discovers a lingering old story needing resolution. With coaching, she trusts in her ability to get a clear answer. She discovers the power of choosing freedom over chaos as her path to truth.
Although the surprise contact threw Ella off, she now appreciates learning how to process curiosity, information-gathering and weighing options. When she revisits the scenario with Jason, she is grateful she is now capable to establish fresh boundaries, take power by blocking his number to avoid future discomfort, and say goodbye in an authentic way which aligns with her truth.
Ella releases any lingering attachment to Jason by separating from the unsolved story in her head. She decides to stop sleuthing and determines it is an isolated incident. She returns to a place of equanimity in her head, and surrenders her trusting the universe to support her wellbeing. The Jason experience has given Ella a chance to yield herself to a deeper commitment to herself and her truth.