I got some news today that made my belly hurt. It does not matter what it is, only that it was enough to evoke the terrible fear monster inside of me.
Once again, the beast of failures past groped its way up from the basement of my mind. All of the old mantras began to sound off like ominous bells of doom. "You are not good enough."
"You are not smart enough, powerful enough, fill-in-the blank enough," the voices in my head cried. Then it hit me. I asked for this.
What? I asked to be kicked in the shins, pushed down in the playground and have my spiritual lunch money taken? I wanted an emotional wedgie?!
You see, I have this nasty habit of asking to grow, to learn to explore and to become more than I am. You may have done that too.
If so, don't be surprised if the universe answers by sending a few curve balls your way. Road blocks are kind of the pop quizzes of spiritual development. (Dang it!)
When we get bowled over, it is life's way of letting us actually live what we all say we believe. Without these crisis moments to challenge us, we would never be able to learn the lesson, fight our inner demons or... well, grow.
The days that you wake up feeling like a truck hit you, when someone you love hurts you, when you have no money (and for some reason the electric company just won't accept your written-in-crayon I.O.U), when doom and gloom are playing a game of keep away with your inner peace, these days are your training days.
This is how you become an overcomer.
You are the hero of your own story and now, even as your knees go week and you want to just cry, if you can stand up, even for a minute, it will be okay.
You will get through this and if you are willing to trust and move forward, your victory is assured, not matter what the outcome.
It is oh so easy to smile, look wiser than we are and be happy when the road is easy and the sun is shining. But add a few clouds, a crooked cold wind that cuts you to the bone, or a dark night of the soul and it is easy to lose your way. When you skin your metaphysical knees it gets real in a hurry.
Just remember: those days are true gifts. You read that right. They may not be packaged with fun colors and puppy kisses, but ribbons aside, it is all a gift nonetheless.
Problems are just the mile markers of your change in trajectory. They are there to shake up your convictions and demand more of you. Every hard day is a chance to be brave, to face our fears, swallow hard and move forward in the darkness.
Life can be scary. You really do have the power to do incredible things though. Half the battle is knowing that this, all of it, is a test. Give thanks for the gloomy days, the difficult moments and know that you are a rock star.
Here is a way to take back your power:
First, remember that life/time is to paraphrase Einstein, a very persistent illusion. Oh it feels real enough, but beneath all of it, everything and everyone is just connected strands of energy.
Secondly, allow yourself to feel, to grieve to get mad or whatever. It is okay to have emotions. Acknowledge your pain. Analyze it. And then release it. ( In a safe way.)
Now begin to bring in love. Send love to yourself. Send love to the situation or person that is causing you pain. Send forgiveness. (As much as you can. Just being willing is a start.) Remember, forgiveness does not excuse or cover over harm, it merely unhitches your emotional train engine from that nasty cargo you were hauling around.
See if you can recognize a pattern of these types of situations in your life. If so, then perhaps these events are lessons you need to learn. They will continue to appear, no matter where you are. Only the faces and locations will change. The underlying message will morph, but keep coming back until you grow past your need for it.
Lastly, give thanks for whatever just ate your lunch. After all, this made you stronger, wiser and more in tune with the greater Divine Source. Give thanks and breathe.
Rinse and repeat as needed. To rephrase an old proverb: once you have learned the painful lesson, the need for the terrible teacher will fade away and new (better, more joyous) lessons will have room to come in.