There is a fundamental concept in philosophy and religion that everything has an opposite side: front and back, up and down, dark and light. Most of us have challenges in our lives that we wish didn't exist or that we didn't have to experience. We believe that if we could just remove that person or situation, everything would be fine, and we would find happiness.
It's human nature to not want opposition. But in reality, challenges are seeds that can grow our blessings and joy. The Light we can find in the darkness is the most powerful and life-changing source of blessings.
Here are 4 lessons about experiencing challenges:
1. Challenges are not holding you back – they are actually moving you towards your purpose.
We often make the mistake of thinking of our challenges as a prison, trapping us back and preventing us from pursuing the things we want. We may feel stuck, and that only when the clouds have parted can we move forward. In truth, darkness is movement. We might not understand or choose to experience darkness, but it is the pathway to experiencing Light. Going through darkness brings us to our soul's purpose, though we might not see it in the moment.
Remember that everything happening to you is happening through you and for you. Even if you can't embrace the darkness in the moment, have faith that it is moving you forward in profound ways, not holding you back.
2. Challenges can help you reassess yourself and your life.
One of the great gifts of opposition is that, when used properly, it gives us the time to gain true knowledge of ourselves and the changes we need to make. When things are going our way, we don't usually take the time to look inside ourselves and evaluate the areas that we most need to grow or transform. Challenges are wake-up calls that there is something we need to reevaluate or pay closer attention to. They require us to pause and rethink our actions and approach. This can help us see ourselves more clearly and to figure out how we can become even better versions of ourselves.
3. Challenges are ultimately for your benefit, even if you can't understand how.
When going through tough times, people often ask, "Why is this happening to me?" Sometimes we can look back on challenges and see how they led us to something better, but not always. It is impossible to ever see the full picture and understand everything about our place in the universe. We are part of a complex process that we only see a small percentage of.
There are great positive forces involved in our lives that we can never fully understand. Have certainty in the process when the outcome is unknown. Certainty is knowing the hand of the Creator is in everything. Everything that is coming to you is there to support you in the most powerful way. When it comes to embracing the hard times, it is less about the head and more about the heart and soul. It's not about understanding why it is happening but experiencing it and knowing it has a purpose.
4. Challenges create an opening for blessings when we persevere through them.
The wisdom of Kabbalah teaches that challenges are like a locked door. If you persevere through the lock, it becomes an opening, and if you persevere through the opening, it becomes a chamber full of blessings.
When faced with a challenge, our impulse tends to be to push it away, run from it, or avoid it. Then we wonder why we haven't found the blessings we desire in our lives. The ultimate chamber of blessings can only be achieved through embracing and persevering through times of darkness, and thereby transforming them. You may not enjoy times of darkness, but you can trust that you need them because they are opportunities to find great blessings.
We all have moments when we are inspired and excited, and then there are times when we feel the heaviness of life. Although we should enjoy and appreciate the great days, they are not the most powerful moments. The most powerful and life changing times are when we have challenges and find ways to extract even one spark of Light. We are in this world to bring Light out of darkness. Don't run from the challenges. Embrace them as an important and necessary path to great blessings.