[success]Stand up to your obstacles and do something about them. You will find that they haven’t half the strength you think they have. ~ Norman Vincent Peale.[/success]
What if I told you that last week I had an experience that didn’t show me in a very good light?
What if I told you that there are days when practicing what I preach can be hard? And sometimes I miss the mark, sometimes I’m…well…a little off?
What if I told you that there are times when growth can turn right round and smack us squarely between the eyes? We want it, we’re moving happily along the road to experiencing a more wonderful and noble us, experimenting with our life on the path to growth, when wham, out of the clear blue sky, lightening strikes.
Has it ever happened to you? I can’t be in this all by my lonesome, can I?
You know me. I’m one of those happy, clappy, usually optimistic, pollyanas. And still there are times when I have to remember that a bad day for my ego usually turns out to be a good day for my soul, but it doesn’t mean I have to like it.
Last Wednesday found me about to park at our Super Target which has an abundance of parking. There I was slowly waltzing into a space virtually outside the store when a car zoomed right in front of me. Obviously this space was special and someone desperately needed to have it. Boy was I grateful for some fine brakes. Not to mention my reflexes, of the super hero kind.
Crash averted, and I was only slightly miffed. After all there were tons of spaces and I found one a couple of cars up.
Despite this, it would seem that I wasn’t showing up as my best self, because when I saw a baby and small child getting out of the ‘parking space stealing car’…well the nicest thing I can say about myself is I became more than a tad miffed at the prospect of those little mites being put in danger.
An inconvenient emotion
My anger grew and I found myself having words with the driver of the car…and no…they weren’t of the uplifting kind.
My best self would have been feeling gratitude that no-one was hurt. Feeling happy that those little mites were safe and what a blessing that was.
My best self would have done an instant release on anger or upset and continued on her happy, clappy way.
Where was my best self when I needed her? Out faffing around, no doubt being transformed into some beautiful being that I could be proud of, leaving me, not so good self, to flounder and flail and get stuck in my angry state.
The unsexy truth
Is that growth is cyclical. Just as nature operates in cycles, just as we operate in our daily life with each day a new start, a new opportunity, so does our consciousness. There’s a ebb and a flow in living…not forgetting the ‘gap‘ that I wrote about recently.
There are times when we’re totally in tune with the highest and best within. In tune with the Divine. We’re awake to our fullest potential, alert to every creative concept and intuitive insight and it’s magnificent. Then there are times when we stumble and fall, when we hit a brick wall, when we react instead of respond, when it seems as though we’ve lost our way.
Don’t fight obstacles, use them
If you’re struggling with something in your life. If you keep stumbling over obstacles to personal growth, or success or joy or that great new job or experience, or anything you truly desire…stop pushing and start looking.
Our life is a wonderful feedback system, reflecting to us where we are, giving us an opportunity to let go or change.
Did you ever play blindman’s buff as a kid…getting warmer…getting colder? Maybe it’s called something different this side of the pond and if I were a writer worth my salt I’d use my google machine…but what the heck…I reckon you know just what I mean.
My little ‘Target situation’ told me I was getting colder. In other words I was moving away from my desire for greater spiritual expansion, and being given an opportunity to let go of what was currently standing between me and my wishes still unfulfilled.
I had no intention of letting obstacles get in my way.
So I spoke to myself. Yes out loud. Okay, you’re feeling angry…I get that. So do you want to feel like this for the next five minutes? Or maybe you want to feel like this for the next hour? Hmm…how about the rest of the day. Even better thought, why not feel angry for the rest of the week?
Honestly, I said this out loud and by the time I got to being angry for the rest of the week I was laughing at how ridiculous I was being and the anger fizzled away like some lack lustre firework without a spark.
This is the path
Don’t underestimate the enormity of the task of spiritual growth. We don’t experience it through reading one book, or taking one class, or even a hundred.
We’re going to stumble and fall and sometimes fail. We could get mightily discouraged, feel doubt, and self pity and wonder what the heck has happened.
It doesn’t mean we’re on the wrong path. It doesn’t mean we’ve fallen off the path. Let this truth be clear…this is the path.
We can bounce between states of consciousness. We can thrill to the ecstasy of a joyful cosmic aha, the brilliance of those dazzling moments of bliss, where inner peace and joy and confidence of our awareness of our role and connection to spirit dwell; and then we can enter the state where suddenly it disappears, like a puff of smoke, leaving us hollowly wondering if it were only a dream.
This is where persistence is needed. I’ve learned that desperately seeking the light doesn’t help, nor does pushing against the darkness, but persistently staying faithful to my desire, to be the one I imagine I can be, makes all the difference.
We don’t need to have pain and struggle to grow…we can choose to grow through joy…but we do have to be willing to let go, we do have to remain conscious of where we are in the cycle if we want to make it easier on ourself. And I’m all in favour of moving through life with ease and grace.
I’d love to hear your experience in dealing with obstacles. What strategies do you have that work? Share in the comments below and you’ll help us all see that those obstacles don’t ‘have have the strength we think they have.’
Encourage one another.