BLESSING THE OBSTACLES
I read a simple, yet wise, story at iVillage.com which illustrates how the rough times in our lives can actually be "gifts" in disguise ...
"A man found a cocoon of an emperor moth. He took it home so that he could watch the moth come out of the cocoon. On the day a small opening appeared, he sat and watched the moth for several hours as the moth struggled to force the body through that little hole. The moth seemed to be stuck and appeared to have stopped making progress. It seemed as if it had gotten as far as it could and it could go no farther.
"The man, in his kindness, decided to help the moth; so he took a pair of scissors and snipped off the remaining bit of the cocoon. The moth then emerged easily. But its body was swollen and small, its wings wrinkled and shriveled. The man continued to watch the moth because he expected that, at any moment, the wings would enlarge and expand to and able to support the body, which would contract in time.
"Neither happened! In fact, the little moth spent the rest of its life crawling around with a small, swollen body and shriveled wings. It never was able to fly.
"The man in his kindness and haste did not understand that the struggle required for the moth to get through the tiny opening was necessary to force fluid from the body of the moth into its wings so that it would be ready for flight upon achieving its freedom from the cocoon. Freedom and flight would only come after the struggle. By depriving the moth of a struggle, he deprived the moth of health."
Sometimes struggling is exactly what we need. If we were to go through life without any obstacles, we would be crippled. We would not be as strong as what we could have been. As one of America's best-known and most respected psychiatrists, Dr. David Viscott writes:
"You cannot protect anyone from themselves; you cannot protect anyone from life. You cannot spare a loved one the confrontation with their own mortality, their own stupidity or their own emptiness.
"Indeed, to take on the burden of sentry, guarding another person's borders, is to interfere with that person's life lesson. If we are the sum of everything that happens to us, to limit a person's experience is to limit their growth."
As our inner strength develops through managing the difficulties we encounter in life, we realize that the key is knowing we always have the Power of Choice.
Any day we wish, we can choose to redesign ourselves and change it all. Any day we wish, we can open a book that will open our mind to new knowledge. Any day we wish, we can start a new activity. Any day we wish, we can start the process of life change. We can do it immediately, or next week, or next month, or next year.
We can also do NOTHING. Motivational author and speaker, Jim Rohn states:
"We can pretend rather than perform. And if the idea of having to change ourselves makes us uncomfortable, we can remain as we are. We can choose rest over labor, entertainment over education, delusion over truth, and doubt over confidence. The choices are ours to make. But while we curse the effect, we continue to nourish the cause. As Shakespeare uniquely observed, 'The fault is not in the stars, but in ourselves.'
"We created our circumstances by our past choices. And if I may be so bold to offer my last piece of advice for someone seeking and needing to make changes in their life — If you don't like how things are, change it! You're not a tree. You have the ability to totally transform every area in your life — and it all begins with your very own power of choice."
We cannot allow our errors in judgment, repeated every day, to lead us down the wrong path. We must keep coming back to those basics that make the biggest difference in how our life works out. And then we must make the very choices that will bring life, happiness and joy into our daily lives.
Here's a poem I wrote many years ago that reveals what I had discovered about my own purpose, spiritual growth and the power of intention — all of which led me to choose jumping into The Flow instead of clinging to the river banks:
The journey then starts to flow and work turns into play;
Our path in life takes courage and faith in vast degree,
Its mystery escapes us, 'til eyes learn how to "see."
When ego is relinquished, the Vision becomes clear;
Let go of all attachment, leap from every cliff,
Into the arms of Spirit, receive the Divine gift.
Knowingness will set it free ... release the need to "steer";
Embrace the self in sovereignty, Love can then expand;
Unbridled from emotion, there's clarity of stand.
Identity, linked and lost, lies hidden far away;
Choice can vanquish all the pain, perspective is the key;
Step up from the 'small story' and choose to truly BE.
With embodiment of Essence, shadows can't be cast;
'Big Story' reveals mission, alignment broadcasts Truth;
Light breaks through to who we are and what we came to do.