…only that we do transform. Of course, it would be wonderful if we could heal and grow with ease, if we could simply choose to uproot old patterns and ways of being without much upset or discomfort. At times change does occur without too many disruptions. But often, as many of us can attest to, it is as a result of facing adversity that the most growth is catalyzed.
My daughter was diagnosed with breast cancer when she was pregnant. She began chemo treatments in the sixth month of her pregnancy after the baby was born. This experience “grew me” in powerful ways. I became stronger and more patient, accepting, and resilient as a result of this “soul test”.
How may challenging circumstances really be blessings in disguise? What are the possibilities for growth in difficult experiences? Perhaps you or a loved one are facing a serious illness, or you lost your job or your home. There you are, in an intimate encounter with all that you have feared and hoped you’d never have to face. You are thrust out of your comfort zone and into uncharted territory. Our personalities recoil at even the thought of this. On a Being level, though, our souls want us to transform at all costs, to shed ways of living that no longer serve us.
Difficult events change us – often at our core. Our familiar ways of coping often break down. The defense mechanisms that have helped us to feel stable and intact yesterday, are now unreliable, at best. Our attempts to control people, places, and situations fail us. This is threatening to our egoic identities, which thrive on control, security, and predictability, but can be liberating for our essential Being. Holding onto and maintaining these coping strategies keeps us stuck in the past, limited by conditioning that does not align with who we really are, and what is possible for us.
As a result of loss or painful experiences you will likely access feelings that may have been buried for years. Here is a chance to meet your shadow, to free up repressed grief, anger, and sadness. Places in your psyche that have been frozen will thaw. You will reclaim your feeling nature as you proceed along the transformational path to full expression of your humanity and your divinity.
Adversity brings us to our knees. We become humbled. Out of necessity, we may need to reach out for support and let others know the truth of our predicament. We open our hearts, share our vulnerability, and let others in who care and want to help. We also find a need for the Divine. Herein lies a rich opportunity to deepen our spirituality. The world of form is revealing the truth of impermanence and we find ourselves needing to anchor in the reliable source of wisdom, love, and sustenance that is our very nature. Meditation, prayer, and other practices that help us connect to Source may become more important than ever before.
Discovering the “soul gifts” of life’s challenges can enlarge our perspective and shift us from feeling helpless and victimized to recognizing that we are participants in a greater field of meaning and possibilities for transformation. We mature, we change, we become more authentic. We learn to show up for all of life.