Thursday, December 3, 2015

Obstacles or Opportunities?

An obstacle is anything that obstructs my path on the way to getting to my destination. Yet, on the other hand, we have all experienced at times that an obstacle, rather than stopping us in our path, can very often take us to places beyond our expectations.

Whether it is physical blocks and boulders that get in our way, or whether its mental and emotional barriers, no one likes obstacles. When they appear, they create disappointment and disillusionment, which saps our energy.

Obstacles or problems mean that we have extra work to do, whether physical or inner work. We are forced out of our comfort zone, we are obliged to look deeper, to make judgements and take new decisions. We have to stretch ourselves. But, we can also ask ourselves, what is wrong with this stretching? Isnt it a good thing to move out of our comfort zone occasionally? And why should it not be an overall positive experience?

From another perspective, the obstacle can indeed be a blessing. The key is in maintaining the right attitude; keeping calm and trusting that all will be well.

If we are always stuck in the same rut and not willing to grow, then where is the newness, and where is the evolution? We may be celebrating annual birthdays, but where is the spiritual growth?

When obstacles or difficult situations appear, firstly we have to learn to accept them as life lessons, and not immediately resist them. Do not fear them. If you fear them they will have a hold over you. This acceptance will halve the burden immediately. If we fight and scream, then that just makes the lesson harder to learn.

In fact, a conclusion I recently came to in my own life is that there are no real obstacles out there, but the actual obstacle is within me here. I become my own worst enemy when I refuse to see the issue for what it is, when I continue with negative thinking, or when I refuse to change; when I dont take ownership and instead continue to blame. If I manage to change all these factors around, then the obstacle can indeed become a blessing and an opportunity, taking me to new and perhaps more interesting horizons.

Sometimes people begin with an aim in mind and then when the path to that aim is blocked, they lose heart, lower their aim, or lose their sense of direction. What would you call this? Being a coward, giving up, surrendering? Or, is it possible to see the obstacle as simply a test in the drama to see how strongly you want something, and how willing you are to give it your all?

If you change direction because of a hurdle in your path, then you may say that you are keeping your aim but simply taking another route to it. That may be the case, yet why are you not willing to continue along the original path? Because when we do, and when we overcome that hurdle, then we move to the next level, and will feel empowered as a result of it.

The key is to remain calm and composed amidst the chaos. If we get caught in the whirlwind of the what, and when, and why, and how of our obstacles, then the queue of questions never stops, instead it keeps elongating. The mind becomes busy and scattered, and an unfocussed mind can never make confident decisions. A confused mind will not have the power to see beyond the obstacle and appreciate the beauty of what other possibilities are evolving in the moment.

As I create positive thoughts, remain still and silent inside, then I am able to see the whole dimension of the situation and not just the isolated components. I can truly see that there is some benefit in what is unfolding in front of me. The obstacle is perhaps protecting me, guiding me, showing me something new, giving me something better. But I need to have presence of mind to appreciate this new scene. This is a great step forward in self-mastery.

Its Time... to see the obstacle as a blessing in disguise, something to learn from and grow. Changing our perspective is the first step towards changing our destiny!

'It's Time...' by Aruna Ladva, BK Publications London, UK

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