Life Challenges: The Recipe

5-my-life 

We all go through times in our life that can only be described as challenging. And though our experiences are wonderfully unique (uniquely beautiful, uniquely difficult, uniquely strange, uniquely f***** up) I notice a common thread between all of us, that connect us all.

While there is a 16 year old bright eyed girl mourning the end of her first real love, there is the wall-street business man who just lost the father who taught him everything he knows. There is the newly single Mom who has to work two shifts just to provide for her child, there is the awkward intern who walks into the boardroom and feels like he walked into his high school cafeteria all over again, there are people who are falling in love with the wrong people, or the right people at the wrong time, there is the abused woman who has been his for so long that she doesn’t remember a life before him, there is the homosexual boy with parents who deeply and painfully believe their son’s life is the manifestation of sin.

There are best friends who stop talking, lovers who stopped loving,

There are break ups, break downs, and break throughs.

No matter how colorful and unique our life challenges are, there are usually certain aspects that seem to manifest itself into each one we have.

Sometimes just being able to identify the different “ingredients” in your challenge is enough to not feel so overwhelmed.

Because underneath the uncomfortable changes that are happening, there are golden lessons for us to learn and new doors to be opened, and an opportunity for love, growth and happiness that is greater than anything we have experienced before.

To create your life challenge, you will need:

  • At least 1 Difficult situation:

At the heart of a life challenge, we will always have a difficult situation. Something that requires you to step up, step out of yourself, and give more of yourself than you initially expected or wanted to give from yourself.

If you need to identify your current difficult situation, you just have to think “what is the hardest thing for me right now?” and there you have it. It’s the first thing that comes to your head.

These difficult situations generally suck, but if you dig deep, you will see that every difficult situation has a hidden opportunity for you to finally raise your standards and to require a little bit more from yourself. Difficult situations provide you with the opportunity to keep going when you didn’t think you could. Difficult situations give you the background context to face the scariest thing that you never thought you would have to face, and still somehow put one foot in front of another.

  • To let go of something or someone:

Another aspect of a “life challenge” is the realization that there is something or someone that you must let go of.

It could be a person, a relationship, a habit, an activity, a pleasure, a pain, a memory, an expectation, a promise, or even an object that means a great deal to you.

  • To realize that you feel differently about something:

Realizing you feel differently about something is a powerful undercurrent of your ongoing life challenge. You might not notice your shifting feelings right away, and you might even deny it, but either way, it’s there and it does determine and alter the direction you are floating in, in the ocean of your life!

It could be things like: Realizing you are not satisfied with your life, realizing that you want to change your career, realizing that you are not in the relationship you want to be in, realizing you were wrong about something, changing your beliefs about something, changing your expectations about something, to change plans you’ve had about your future for years, to realize you don’t want something after all, to realize that something you once said was not that important to you- in fact is very important to you.

Of course this is a very uncomfortable process, because it is dealing with YOURSELF and how you see the world. You surprise yourself. It is uncomfortable because it may cause you to face some demons, and make some new decisions based on your new beliefs and feelings. It is uncomfortable because these decisions may affect people, or many people around you.

  • At least 1 thing that completely changes:

Something that we fear the most, is change. We are creatures of habit, and it is so difficult to deal with things being different, even if the thing that is no longer happening wasn’t that great for us anyway!

You may no longer be in a relationship, a close friend or family member may no longer be in your life, you may have moved to a completely country, you may be studying new courses…the list of things that could change is endless!

  • At least 1 hater/highly opinionated individual!:

Because simple challenging situations, life losses, and uncomfortable changes are not enough – lets throw in some opinionated and slightly spiteful people into the mix too to keep things interesting and extra fruity.

Haters don’t really hate you. They hate themselves because you are a reflection of what they wish to be. Haters don’t really hate you. They just have enough free time on their hands to be focusing on your life. Hater’s just be hatin’.  Haters have one job – and that is it to spread negativity.

They may be justified in their contempt or they may not be.

Try to see haters as an opportunity for you to show yourself and other people who you really are. Haters ultimately will make things easier for you. They instantly put you in a better position, they gift you with the choice of acting with integrity, dignity and grace.

“When it comes down to it, let them think what they want, if they care enough to bother with what I do, then I am already better than them anyway.” -Marilyn Monroe

How people treat you is their karma, how you react is yours.

  • The stress of having to maintain your “normal life”:

And on top of all of this, the final straw is the simple stress of having to maintain your “normal life.” To keep doing the things you have to do, to maintain outward appearances, to wake up every day and move forward in the wake of your own private emergencies and tragedies. It ain’t easy.

But life isn’t meant to be easy. Life is just meant to give you exactly what you need to experience yourself fully.

So that’s my list of things common things that make up most of the difficult circumstances of our life. I know that identifying them has made things a little sweeter for me!

Take care n’ keep smilingSmile

S