There have been many occasions where I’ve had to face a dilemma for which I had no solution for. In my teens and early twenties a tiny problem would cause complete life devastation. I would do what ever possible to “work my way around” it, trying to dodge any potential bullets in the hope that if I avoid it long enough it would just disappear. That worked for me back then, but the older I get and the circumstances get much more serious than a guy not calling me back for 3 days, I’ve grown up just enough to learn that the only way to overcome the obstacles in our life is to face them – head on.
As terrifying as that thought may be, understand that what you are scared of most is your assumption as to how things are going to pan out. How many times have you uttered “but what if…?”. We are all guilty of assuming what the future holds. Everything we have been taught growing up has the underlying pressure of achieving something we don’t know is possible because we don’t know the obstacles that are going to come our way or who we will become in the future. We can plan, set goals and work towards them all we like, but they are still just visions in our mind that don’t (yet) exist and we have not (yet) grown to our full potential to recognize what we are capable of and who we really are. I look at difficult situations in the same way. Many times, I have imagined a problem is so much bigger than I am. I would spend countless amounts of energy building up an issue with “what if’s”, the typical “how can this happen to me?”, and of course the “I can’t go through this now, I have too much on my plate already!”. Sound familiar? Every single time I have chosen to dodge the bullet, the situation has dissipated long enough for me to catch my breath before it (surprise, surprise) came back again.
You see, the challenges we face are not because our luck is worse than others (unless you have spent a life time being a nasty person and karma has decided it’s time for you to pay your debt). No, it’s because we have lessons to learn that we are avoiding. The longer we continue to bob and weave, the bigger the problem is going to get. Think of a tornado. As it goes along winding and whirling, collecting moisture and debris, building momentum, continuing along a destructive path, spiralling out of control, the tornado only becomes stronger, gaining more and more ground. None of us are expecting it and it happens so quickly we have no idea how, what or why but yet we are shocked, unbelieving of the fact that it happened. We know when something in and around our life is brewing, yet we choose to ignore the signs until they seem so much bigger than we can handle. Everything around us comes crashing down and we lose the things we value the most, giving us little choice but to start over again.
Now, I’m not saying when a tornado comes you should stand your ground and face it. That is a situation where you need to run (very, very fast) but what I am saying is that life, just like nature, requires renewal. Sometimes we have to be at our lowest point to see the beauty in the things around us we never saw before even though they’ve always been there. To gain an understanding of who we really are and what we really want in life. Obstacles, just like tornados, are there to remind us that something bigger is out there. That there is always a chance to wipe the slate clean and start over again. That what ever we are doing now, is a waste of our energy and our paths need to take a new direction. Understandably, it’s not a pleasant situation to be in but some of us (most of us) need that wake up call. I for one, have had many wake up calls. I have fallen into a hole so many times I decided at one point, instead of looking for the light, I am just going to accept that I am in the dark. That was where I deserved to be and until I live it I wasn’t going to come up for air or light or anything else for that matter. It was in those moments where I thought I’d completely lost myself that I gained the deepest most sincere understanding of who I was as a human being. No one has ever claimed that starting over is easy but the difference between the people who seem to always climb out of that hole with a smile on their face and not a chip on their shoulder, are the ones who look at obstacles endearingly. That might sound a little like I’ve had too much to drink but let me explain what I mean; you are a person who has a problem right? When you step out away, disconnecting the emotional tie and fear you hold so close and look at the problem neutrally, from the outside, you have the opportunity to decide how it will effect you, how you will react to it and make the decision of how to tackle it. Look at the situation like a chance to redo what has gone wrong. An opportunity to do it differently, perhaps, how it was meant to be done all along. You’ve been given a second chance to make anew. Or at the very least, learnt something about yourself you didn’t know before.
Remember that, in life, there is no such thing as mistakes, only lessons learned. Don’t be afraid to face your fears when they come. Until you muster up the courage to stand up tall and deal with it head on, the issue will continue to resurface in different areas of your life until you get the wake up call it’s trying to deliver and realize that you are not the product of your circumstance but instead, the product of a being who has survived against all odds and has a true understanding of who they are and what they are capable of.
Happy Friday Folks!