How do I know if a situation is a test?

Question: How do you know if something is a test or just a sign that you have to stop? Sometimes something does not work out. Then I think, do I have to stick with it? Because maybe it is a test and I have to try again and again. Or maybe it is a sign I have to stop. 

This answer was given by Kim Michaels at a conference in Holland.

Kim: I totally understand that. I would say it’s always a test, but the trick is to find out what the test is. Sometimes the test is that you have to decide: “I have had enough of this. I won’t do it anymore.”

I was talking to somebody the other day about it, and I feel like there are a lot of situations on the path where you do have to work through it because there is something you have to learn from the situation. So if you don’t learn it the first time you are presented with that test, you often get another one, maybe in a slightly different outer situation, but it is the same test. It’s very important that you don’t just push it aside. It’s important that you try to say: “What am I supposed to learn here?” You are open to having your higher self or the masters show you what the lesson is.

It’s very delicate. You can’t really give a standard answer to a question like that because it will be very individual. You basically have to stick to it long enough, I would say, that you come to the point where you are non-attached to whether it continues or it stops. That’s when you can have a good indication that you have learned what you needed to learn from it.

Sometimes what we have to learn from it is to say: “Stop. I don’t want to do this anymore! I don’t want to be in this situation anymore. I don’t want to meet this kind of people.”

It is so easy on the spiritual path to get into this frame of mind where you realize that at the beginning stages of the path, you don’t have enough intuition. You don’t have enough attunement. You are not clear enough. There are too many things clouding your mind, or you are too scattered. So you need guidance, and you get into this mode of wanting guidance. Then you start getting guidance from your higher self, from the masters, from other people or even an outer guru. That’s a phase you go through, and it’s important to go through that phase because you don’t have the inner attunement.

There also comes a point where it can become a hindrance for you that you are always looking for guidance somewhere; even from your higher self it can be a hindrance. I have had situations in my life where I was so used to asking for guidance, and I was asking for guidance and trying to attune, and nothing was happening. I finally realized that it was because there are some situations where you are not going to get guidance. You have to make a decision.

You simply have to decide for yourself: “I have had enough of this test, this kind of test.” Meaning this particular kind of person or this kind of situation. “It’s enough. I don’t want it anymore.” Sometimes you may have learned what you need to learn from the situation, but you haven’t come to that point where you have decided that it is enough. Until you do that, you can keep getting the same test over and over again almost indefinitely because we are sometimes so afraid of making a decision. Sometimes that quest for guidance and having the masters tell us what to do stands in the way of us acting, making a decision. It’s part of the path: You make a decision.

What we are so used to is having this whole consciousness of the black-and-white thinking: “You are a sinner. You can go to hell if you do the wrong thing.” Even if we haven’t been affected by that in an official church, it’s still in the collective consciousness. We have this fear of making mistakes. We are always thinking, “If I make the wrong choice, it’s a big mistake, and it’s going to have this terrible consequence.”

There are many, many situations in life where it isn’t so that there is only one right thing to do, and all the others are wrong. Or there is one right thing to do and one wrong thing to do. There are many situations where all of the options we have are perfectly fine because we learn something from them. You just have to make a decision, face the consequences, and learn from the consequences. Even if you had done something else in that original situation, you would still have learned the same thing.

I know how it is. You are facing a choice so you make a decision, and then something happens that’s unpleasant, and then you say: “Oh, I must have made the wrong decision!” In many cases you didn’t. You were just meant to learn a lesson. Even if you had done something else, and you say: “Oh, I wish I had done that other thing instead,” you would still be presented with the same test. Sometimes you just have to make that decision and be happy about it, instead of always second-guessing. I think that is often the test: to come to the point where you are non-attached.

For myself, I usually use that as a guide. If I can feel that I have an attachment, that I am somehow emotionally involved, that I want a certain outcome, then I feel like I haven’t gotten to that point of: “I’ve learned my lesson, and I achieved that non-attachment.” If I face a decision (should I do this, or should I do that?), then at the point where it doesn’t matter to me whether I do it or not, that’s when I know I am non-attached. Then I just make a decision: “What do I want to do?”

The way I have started looking at it is: “What is an expression of who I am? How do I see myself?” I used to think much more in terms of: “When I am a spiritual person, there are certain things I should do and certain things I shouldn’t do.” But now it’s more a matter of: “Well, who am I?” “How do I want to express myself?” and “What is an expression of my true nature?” When I become clear on that, it is easy to make that decision.


Copyright © 2015 KIm Michaels