Facing Powerful Life Challenges
If we believe our challenge is insurmountable, then it will be.
Life sometimes presents us with challenges that seem insurmountable. We feel like we're facing difficult tests that require just that little too much of us. We wonder where we'll find the strength to do what needs to get done - to be who we need to be - in order to rise to this challenge.
Some people face this through a crisis in health, others through financial disasters, yet others face crises in relationships, or through suffering existential angst.
In these moments we are confronted with ourselves head on. All of our weaknesses and vulnerabilities begin to show themselves or become hard to ignore. Our reactive responses can become even more reactive. Those inner whisperings of the unloving kind, want to reveal themselves in their full glory, and they will get that chance if we allow ourselves to stay in automatic reaction.
Does this reaction serve you?
These challenges really do have an energy of 'the test' about them. And indeed they are powerful tests. The difference is, there is no pass or fail. There is no, this is the right way, and this is the wrong way. There is only:
'Does this reaction serve you? Does it soothe you? Does this bring you to peaceful resolution?'
The questions are asked with a loving interest in our answers, not with a waiting chastisement or deserved punishment.
The primary questions in these tests are:
What reaction will you choose?
Will, you choose?
Can you remember that even now, the power is yours to choose?
How will you respond to life in this moment?
How we answer these questions will determine our experience of Life as it is showing up right now.
If we believe our challenge is insurmountable, then it will be. If we wish to hold onto our pain and our suffering around it, then we are free to do so - all the while knowing that it is deeply uncomfortable to indulge that pain and suffering. If we want events to resolve themselves in one particular way - our way, rather than the perfect way for its resolution; then we are going to feel like we're battling life, and life is winning.
Challenge as opportunity
If, on the other hand, we choose to see the test as a test of what we have remembered about who we really are; then the challenge now becomes an opportunity. We, now get to ask powerful questions; questions such as:
What do I believe about my health and health in general, and how does this belief serve me?
What do I believe about money and the power money has over me?
What is this struggle in my relationship, teaching me about myself and my beliefs around relationships?
What is this existential angst really pointing to, what is really underneath it?
In asking these types of questions, we unlock ourselves from our conditioned responses to these challenges. We begin to unlock the doors of perception, insight, and wisdom - because these questions do not have easy answers.
We cannot be glib and dismissive in our responses. If we are, then we're going to remain in a space of suffering around the challenge we are facing. You see this test is going to bring us to a place of greater recognition; one way or another.
There is no pass or fail
Are we expected to pass the test? As I mentioned earlier there is no pass or fail, only a calling to recognition. The calling contains the answer:
'Is your response to life and what is showing up, causing you to go into prolonged suffering?'
This question has a very simple response - yes, or no, but that is the only simple thing about it. Behind that simplicity is profound wisdom, millennia-old teachings, the intelligence of the universe and the very essence of our being.
We may not be aware of all that is behind that question in the midst of our challenge.
We may be feeling particularly human and particularly vulnerable. We may wish to shy away from the very questions that will lead to our salvation, or our perfect resolution. That is fine too. Everything is perfect. This is the true intention behind what we perceive as our most challenging tests. It is a calling to go deeper, and then even deeper. Where we eventually come to understand:
'Whatever you choose in this moment is perfect. Simply be at peace with your choices; whatever they may be.'
That might seem like a paradox - being at peace with suffering, for example. It may seem confusing and frustrating to be asked:
'Can you be at peace even now, in the midst of your intense suffering?'
But it is a magical and liberating question, and it is recognized by us only when we are ready.
It is a question we can answer in the affirmative only when we are truly ready. We may be able to accept it in some areas of our lives, and not in others. That is perfect too. We face our tests, struggles and challenges, the way we are ready to face them. We all hear this deepest of questions in a different way, and with different reactions - depending on our triggers or levels of attachment.
But isn't that the beauty of the game, the play? That we are all here on our individual journeys of recognition. This recognition comes to us all, in different ways, at deeper and deeper levels - at our own self-chosen pace.
So wherever you are right now and whatever 'tests' you are facing, I salute you. I know you have it in within you to find the way back to your perfect peace, and your perfect balance. I know that Life is leading you and guiding you to resolutions that deepen and strengthen you. I know that whatever response you are having to that challenge, is the perfect response for where and who, you are.
This article was previously published at Good Men Project and is republished here with their permission
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