Life presents you with all sorts of problems and difficulties. Situations don’t turn out the way you want them to, people let you down and things go pear-shaped. As much as these struggles, big or small, are an integral part of everybody’s life, it is pretty normal to feel that something has gone wrong somewhere. The unpleasant notion that you are experiencing something you shouldn’t be experiencing in an ideal world.
I like to think that just as physical strength is not built while chilling out on the sofa, mental and spiritual strength is not created while floating around on a pink cloud. We need problems to grow and learn. Without a problem there can never be a solution. Without resistance there can never be any release.
When you learn something in school you are probably learning it because you don’t already know it. You attend lessons and are given problems in the form of assignments and exercises to practice your new skills. Everyone accepts this as a natural way of learning. However, when life presents you with the same opportunities to grow, learn and refine your skill-set then the normal response is to freak out and see the whole situation as something undesired. Something must have gone wrong.
Not long ago a friend came to me with a relationship problem. She has struggled in the relationship department for a while, and had now found a partner who wasn’t giving her what she wanted. She could not get the validation she craved and was therefore considering ending the relationship as she felt that the guy was not worthy of her. Just like many of her well-meaning girlfriends had already assured her he wasn’t.
My first reaction when listening to her talking about her heartache, doubts and stress in her relationship was that life had decided to send her a lesson in the form of a man who was not feeding her insecurities. This is an opportunity for her to learn that no one can ever love you enough if you don’t love yourself, and an opportunity to learn that the validation of others should be completely irrelevant. Others can only make you feel bad if you give them the power to rule your world.
Some might say that this is a cold response that lacks empathy. Don’t get me wrong, I have been where she is and know how devastatingly painful it is to crave the attention of someone who is not giving it to you. However, it was only through going through this pain and refusing to see it as something that was going to get to me, I was able to realize that I alone am in charge of how I feel. I had to learn this if I am ever to have a healthy relationship with anyone, and the universe presented me with the perfect learning situation for this. At a time when I was ready.
Life’s lessons should not be seen as punishment, but rather the opposite. It means that you are ready to grow some more, that you have the chance to become something greater and stronger than you already are. Tackling problems with this attitude is empowerment on a new level. Don’t ever see yourself as a victim, because trust me, the rest of the world is not seeing you as a victim until you proclaim that you are one. And how do we proclaim this? By complaining about the unfairness of your miserable life, which through the law of attraction just makes sure there is a steady supply of gloom headed your way.
A Course in Miracles starts by saying that it is a required course, which I think is a great way of seeing life. I see life as a course and embrace the contrast that is headed my way, because it was attracted by the best in me to make me stronger than I was before.
I saw an inspirational quote in a gym once:
- It doesn’t get easier. You just get better.
I think that sums up life pretty well. Take every opportunity to grow and don’t have a meltdown whenever the universe sends you a lesson you can learn from. And chill out! It’s not like any of us are getting out alive.
PS! Just like when you fail something in school, the universe will keep sending you the same lesson over and over again until you get it. How many times you want to re-live the same problem depends on how eager you are to learn.