I really do not believe in coincidence. Though I don't believe strictly in fate, there seems to be a universal plan that provides a sort of balance between fate and free will. Just over a year ago I published a post, An Amazing Universe, about good things that happen when we're open to connecting with people. I have examples of unexpected opportunities that came during good times, but there are probably more that were a result of something bad happening.
Bad things happen to people; how we respond to the good and the bad is what defines us and demonstrates our character.
It has been a hard week for my family. Our home was burglarized while we were asleep upstairs. Thousands of dollars of electronics were stolen from our house. The burglars were silent -- quiet enough to not even wake the dog. We woke up to notice our television was gone, as were my laptop (and backup hard drive), our new camera, my husband's phone and wallet, my purse, and a variety of other items. While I called the police, I was rummaging around my room to find the copy I had made of the credit cards in my purse. The police were knocking on the door as I finished one of the many calls that would be required over the next few days.
Our two boys were especially disappointed to lose the tv, Xbox360 and games.
I'm not optimistic that we'll get any of our valuables back, but I'm hopeful the people will be caught. I'd love to have a chance to talk to them, to show them the face of a person they hurt, to tell them this was not a victimless crime.
Thinking back on the week, from the moment we realized we had been burglarized, I've been on an emotional roller coaster. One moment all I can think about is how grateful I am that no one was injured, that no one woke up to confront the burglars. How would we know they weren't armed? What could have been waiting for one of us as we came down the stairs, unprepared to see strangers looting our home? And the next moment I see RED. I'm so angry! I can't stand to feel like a victim! ...And yet. I think about the people in our community who have responded with such compassion and caring, having heard what happened to our family.
Why did I start this post with my statement that I don't believe in coincidence? Because, although I'm heartbroken for my family's loss of security, my loss of valuables, including hours & hours of writing stolen with my laptop, I'm also hopeful. The universe puts obstacles in our paths and we have a choice in how we view them. I choose to view this as an opportunity to see things differently. Though I'm still angry and hurt, I'm not sleeping well, and my muscles are sore from exercising to clear my head, I remain hopeful that this obstacle the universe put in my path is just another opportunity waiting to be discovered.
Do you choose to see opportunity in challenges? Do you choose to find the lessons?