Why is Life Sometimes so Difficult?
Surely life is supposed to be easy. After all, that’s what magazines tell us; that’s what education tells us; that’s what culture tells us. We are supposed to have a happy childhood, aren’t we?
Then we’re supposed to have a fun youth, an exciting education, a satisfying job, find a loving partnership, have perfect children and glide into an easy retirement before we die peacefully in our sleep.
Yet all too often life proves to be difficult. What if your childhood is unhappy and your teenage years are full of insecurities? What if you find your school days boring and a job hard to come by? What if your partner becomes abusive and your children are difficult? And what if retirement becomes a catalogue of ailments and you contract a horrible illness?
We are not taught how to deal with pain and disappointment so when it comes along we flounder, thinking either that it is not fair or that we are somehow flawed.
Life, however, is an opportunity for us to experience ourselves consciously,. If we lived a life only of ease — for instance on a boat in the Mediterranean being fed peeled grapes and drinking champagne — we would never find out who we really are.
Obstacles enable us to discover ourselves. Just as an athlete needs to train his/her muscles to be strong, we need to train ourselves to jump the hurdles that life presents us with so that we can uncover our potential.
The key is to be grateful for obstacles. Gratitude keeps our energetic vibrations high and, as quantum physics tells us, everything is energy. When we are disappointed and blame others for our apparent misfortunes, our vibrations fall and the obstacles just get worse. Being grateful enables us to rise above what feels difficult so that the obstacles turn into an opportunity for growth.
But beware. This often involves being counter-intuitive. Take a skid. Our automatic reaction is to turn the steering wheel in the opposite way to the skid but what we should do is to turn the steering wheel in the same direction as the skid so that the wheels can regain control.
Steering into a skid takes courage, daring and training. So does turning an obstacle into an opportunity. When we feel pain our default reaction is to want to get rid of it and yet this very resistance only makes it worse. It stops the energy moving and solidifies it, causing the obstacle to intensify and get worse.
The way to keep the energy moving is to dare to experience the obstacle fully. Look at the problem rather than turn away. Stay with it rather than seek distraction. Feel it rather than become numb. If you keep the energy moving, the obstacle will resolve itself.
So the next time you are faced with something difficult, try to be grateful for the training it is giving you. If you dare to enter it fully and keep the energy flowing, you’ll come out of it the other end not only more authentically yourself but also having developed strength, resilience and courage.
And in the end, if you get really good at facing obstacles, you may even find that you can enjoy the rides, wherever they take you.