The Gods of Synchronicity have a wicked sense of irony. I was bemoaning another skirmish in my battle with the ants when I noticed two items in this morning‘s paper.
Hope Ranch residents are complaining about noise from jets flying low on the way to the Santa Barbara airport, disturbing the peace of their pricey oceanfront homes.
And the remaining members of the Cantin family experience the bittersweet closure of finding son Jack’s remains several years after he was swept away in the catastrophic 2018 Montecito debris flow.
I look at the straggle of ants remaining after I frantically killed as many as possible, and wonder if I should thank them for providing such a relatively minor problem.
The old religious terminology would talk about crosses to bear. Right now, apparently an intermittent ongoing ant invasion is my cross to bear.
Meanwhile, people who have more money than God can’t control the flight paths of the 737s.
And the remaining Cantin family members can finally lay Jack to rest next to his father, who also perished in that debris flow.
How easy, or hard, any cross is to bear can’t be judged except by the experiencer. Some would say there should be no judgment, anyway, and in principle, I agree with that.
I tell myself not to complain. Thank God I’m not where all those floods are happening. Thank God I’m not where wildfires are raging, or where mandatory vaccinations loom. Thank God, thank God.
While comparing our lives to others’ is frequently a meaningless pastime, it can have a redeeming virtue or two. We can look at the circumstances we were complaining about and perhaps feel a sliver of gratitude. And taking the mind off the current problem can sometimes allow a solution to pop in while our conscious mind is occupied elsewhere.
Many challenges in our lives, according to common spiritual precepts, have a higher purpose.
My problem is I’m impatient. I just want the ants to go away, and not sit in a lotus position humming a mantra while they swarm around me as I attempt to meditate upon the lesson they supposedly bring.
Perhaps I’m tired, because I don’t want to have to work so hard anymore while trudging this awareness path. Can’t I just have peace, without needing to clear away a field of bracken to find the meadow of fragrant flowers?
It would be a heck of a lot more conducive to spiritual pondering if I were smelling honeysuckle rather than being scratched unmercifully by the briar patch.
How do I choose to bear the cross that has chosen me?
A number of spiritual philosophies indicate that we are never given more than we’re able to handle. Basically, we don’t invite experiences outside our soul contracts, and Life / Fate / What Is isn’t supposed to provide us with things too far astray from the scope of that contract.
Failing any level of okay-ness with What Is, there may be another option lurking behind the curtain of reality. We may be able to amend our soul agreements if we find something absolutely unacceptable on a deep soul level.
That may seem contrary to the law of karma, or other Universal Laws. But I’ve read in more than one source that we actually can renegotiate our contracts. I imagine this might be permissible if we, or circumstances, have changed to such a degree that it’s beneficial to shift the undesired experience. (1)
It makes sense to me that if we’ve thoroughly mastered some “lesson,” perhaps earlier than was thought likely, we needn’t be subjected to having it hit us yet again. I think that veers off into meaningless punishment, rather than a useful learning experience.
So, what about those ants?
I finally decide to leave it up to Gaia, St. Francis, and whoever else I can appeal to. The devas and fairies of the insect kingdom, and the ants themselves. I haven’t even asked what they prefer, because I’ve been living in such 3D discomfort with the situation, I haven’t stopped to consider options that could be benevolent for all.
A little querying, and sitting back to listen for responses from a higher realm, seems in order. Certainly it’s better than unforgiving poisons and unneighborly behavior like killing fellow Gaians, no matter how tiny and insignificant they appear to my comparatively giant human self.
(1) See, for instance, Matthew Ward’s discussions of amending soul contracts in his messages of April 28, 2006, June 2, 2007, and November 19, 2009; and also in his books (https://www.matthewbooks.com).