In my book Wise Words I devoted a page of explanation to this saying and question that my teacher asked me one day. He asked me “If someone tries to give you a quarter and you do not accept it, who has the quarter? The idea is to let people keep the negative for themselves. If they try to give it to you, let them keep it. The funny thing is when ever I open up to this page as my message for the day I tend to think, “I don’t want this page. I don’t want anyone trying to mess with me.” I opened randomly to this page recently and chose to ignore it. Surely enough later that evening after forgetting about reading that page, someone says something to offend me. I started getting agitated, when suddenly I remembered my message for the day, “who has the quarter”. I remembered how it was a good thing that I had it as my message, and decided that I would put it to use and let them keep that quarter and not internalize the negative comment they were sending my way.
I also marveled at how whatever page I open up to in Wise Words seems to be happening in my life. It’s part of the mystery of the positive mind within us that what we focus on shows up. The funny thing is I knew this when I opened the book early that morning. That’s why I chose to ignore it. The funny thing is it showed up anyway and turned out to be a beautiful thing reminding me that my job is not to avoid the negative, but rather to rise above it and enjoy the whole experience. That is exactly what I did.
Answer: Where ever you were before you came here. Just like when you are dreaming, before you had which ever dream you find yourself in at a given time you may have been in a totally different dream. What the previous dream was like depended on you and the way you see yourself and the world, and maybe even what you did the day before. And just like in your dream when you arrive all is already prepared for you and whatever experience your deeper self has chosen to create for you to get whatever lesson you are to get out of it. Once again it is all about the lesson. Just like if you really pay attention to your dreams you will find they are all trying to tell you something, the same is true of this waking dream, if you really pay attention you will find that all situations seem to happen for us to get the lesson if we can be open enough to see it.