Last week our RV sprung a leak and I had less than 72 hours to fix it before renters picked it up to take it to the Indy 500 for a long weekend. Nothing seemed to be flowing and I couldn’t locate the problem, despite posting on an online forum for help. After spending two days looking for the solution where it wasn’t, Susanne called a friend who was a plumber and he pointed out the leak to me. It turned out that it was leaking from the very place that the people on the forum told me to check, but I dismissed their advice because I assumed if it was coming from there it would be obvious. It turns out that a lot of water can leak through a tiny hole, and big problems don’t necessarily look obvious, they can be tiny things continuously occurring.
To me the big breakthrough didn’t come from finding and fixing the problem, it came from seeing how much my own hubris got in the way of me being effortlessly guided to a solution. I thought I knew better than the cooperative components the Universe was sending me, and that arrogance turned a fix that was fairly easy into a Herculean task. I wondered how long that habit of disregarding the help the Universe was sending me had been making my life harder than it needs to be, and decided to open myself to listening to others more.
That same morning when I was driving to fix the leak in the RV, I had a cell phone, an iPod, and a bag of trail mix in my pocket. When I got there I pulled out the phone and saw that the whole left side of the screen was popping out. After beating myself up for a while, (“This is what happens when you fill your pocket like it’s a freaking clown car!”) I let it go. “Maybe this will inspire me to get a case and the phone will be better off in the long run,” I thought.
I went online and posted about it and someone told me to see if the battery was bulging out due to overheating after I told them that it’s spends 95% of its time plugged in. That same sense of hubris washed over me, “I know what caused the problem, you don’t. It was the trail mix in the pocket in the car, not Professor Battery in the living room with excessive overheating.” But since I’d recently been humbled by my leak fixing experience I decided to humor him and check the battery. Sure as shit, the battery was bulging out like the Stay Puft Marshmallow Man from Ghostbusters; and that giant bulge caused the screen to pop out.
Then as I was about to order a new battery and a case, I remembered that my sister recently upgraded from the exact same phone, so I contacted her about it and she ended up giving me her old phone and case for free. Not only will that allow me to take care of the phone that was damaged, but I was desiring to upgrade my old iPod to something with a bigger screen that could still do wifi calling, and this phone is perfect for that.
I thought damaging the phone in my pocket was going to cost me money, just to get things back to the way they were, but it actually ended up saving me money on upgrading my iPod, and let me safely discover and dispose of the bulging battery before it potentially exploded and ruined the whole phone.
Learning to Trust the Cooperative Components Being Sent to You
The Universe always knows the path of least resistance and will lead you there in whatever way gets your attention and encourages you to play along. The better you get at noticing when the Universe is trying to take you somewhere new, the less resistance you’ll put up when change happens and something that seemed to be going well breaks down so that it can get even better.
The concept that everything happens for a reason is usually reserved for when something inexplicably bad happens to us, but I think it happens all the time. Everything that comes to us is here to help lead us to where we want to go. All we have to do is stop labeling it as something going wrong, and start opening ourselves up to something even better coming from it.