Yesterday I was sitting next to a dear friend over coffee and we were talking about a new business venture for her. She was all in. She was super pumped and ready to hit the ground running. I was riding her energy, and then she got a text from her husband.

Bam! Her energy shifted and her heart sank. He texted her to say that the person who they were sure would invest in this new business had told them they were not going to come on board anymore. She was devastated. She immediately started backing up as insecurity and doubt took center stage. “Well, maybe this isn’t for me…I’m not sure if I can move forward without this in place…

I paused and slowed down her process. I said, “What if this is exactly what needs to happen?” She was so attached to one specific pathway to get where she wanted. Then the moment it took a turn, she was ready to throw in the towel for something she was really passionate about.

I told her that life is a wonderful teacher. This is the perfect opportunity to rewire an old pattern of behavior. This was a perfect invitation to see what else was possible. I said quite blatantly, “If this is where you are supposed to be, you can’t do anything to f*** it up! It’s already in the works behind the scenes. This is a gift for you in this moment.” A gift where you might be able to help this person through some healing that was stopping her progress. A gift to press into your own fears and heal them. A gift to open the door for something even better to happen. This experience is a teacher. What are you here to learn?

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That’s why I always preach and practice that it is so important not to be attached to the outcomes and instead always say, “This or something better.” Mentally shifting to approach life with that open hand mentality is a powerful demonstration that you believe all is working for your good.

I believe that everything that comes across our path is here for our benefit and here to teach us something. Whether it is something that is easy and joyful, or frustrating and inconvenient, all the way to devastating and gut wrenching. All the emotions we experience, all the relationships that we have (good, interesting, or bad), all the roadblocks–they are teachers and we are here to learn. Nothing is by accident.

We attract people into our lives to help teach us easy and incredibly hard lessons, and I am grateful to each one. Some people come into our lives for a brief moment like the man sitting next to me on this airplane who talked to me for 5 hours on the way to Peru. Others stay in our lives for a season who help shine a mirror onto something that is coming up for us at the time that needs healing. And some stay in our lives for a lifetime who we journey with.

We have to understand that whatever issue or problem we have, we contributed to creating it in order to handle certain situations and to bring about our own learning.

A couple questions I ask myself on a daily basis are:

  • What’s the payoff from this experience?
  • What am I getting that is positive?
  • What am I here to learn?
  • What is this teaching me?
  • Why is this habit or pattern here? (Even if it is a negative one) How is this serving me? What is it showing me?
  • How can I press into the invitation to go deeper?
  • Is there something better that I can’t yet see?
  • What are some other possibilities that I haven’t considered yet?
  • How is this here working for my good?

When we ask these questions and when we get triggered by people or events, we can also become a teacher to everyone. When we come into people’s lives we are there because something we have, some part of who we are is a teacher for them and vice versa. Even our haters, enemies, or simply rude people are some of our most powerful teachers.

Each encounter, each situation is an invitation to learn. It is an opportunity to grow. It is a chance to heal a little deeper. I see it as a spotlight into our deepest fears, passion, and desires. I encourage you all to begin looking at it this way.


Mary Hyatt