I’ve been on quite the reading binge lately (something like 12 novels over the last 7-weeks) because I felt I needed to be more enlightened about the world around me. And while I’d hardly consider myself to be an avid reader, I am not averse to picking up a book and involving myself in the magic of a story, the emotional scope of a character, or the inherent lesson each author brings to the table.
That said, I recently read “The Alchemist” (I know, I’m late to the party on this one) by Paulo Coelho and was struck by so many things about it that I can hardly name them here; but I will say that towards the end of the book, I latched on to this particular exchange between the monk—who had given shelter and aid to the Alchemist and his fellow traveler—and the Alchemist:
“This is for you,” he said, holding one of the parts (he had turned lead into gold and broken it into four parts) out to the monk. “It’s for your generosity to the pilgrims.”
“But this payment goes well beyond my generosity,” the monk responded.
“Don’t say that again. Life might be listening, and give you less next time.”
I don’t know about you, but that last statement hit me like a ton of bricks. So often I’ve found myself turning away from, or belittling, a compliment, reward, or kudo because I didn’t think I was deserving; and while I am fiercely proud of my personal accomplishments, I shun the light shone upon them, by others, for reasons I have yet to understand; but when I read that statement, it truly hit home for me because it occurred to me, right at that moment, that my decision to turn away from the positive was likely making an impact on the future existence thereof.
In other words, I was actively denying myself the possibility of more by letting the universe know I didn’t feel worthy and that was like a kick to the head for me.
Each of us, despite our individual short-comings, has value; that value may not be readily apparent, but it is there, and it’s up to us to do the work it takes to recognize that worth and elevate it above the negativity that is so easily and readily available in our head and hearts.
Don’t turn down the blessings—either visceral or material—that life brings your way because you’ve decided you’re not good enough. If life is showing you good favor, on any level (via good health, monetary prosperity, or otherwise) then you are obviously doing something right.
Life is its own reward, everything else is a bonus, so if you’re getting more than you bargained for, see it for what it is—the universe’s way of saying “thank you”.