There are times when I’m in the midst of an experience and I’ll say “Man, this is challenging.” Or I’ll say to someone, “that must have been challenging for you.”It seems like there might be a better word than challenging though because ‘challenge’ means either taking part in a competition with self or with others, being in an unjust or provoked situation.
When we look at events in our life as challenges, are we actually saying that they shouldn’t be happening to us? Do I really mean to say “this sucks, it’s not fair, it shouldn’t be this way?” Maybe so, but isn’t that putting up a wall to higher more loving possibilities?
I think I need to stop and think about this for a minute.
What if we were to think of these events as opportunities? The word opportunity suggests an opening to walk through. That feels better, doesn’t it?
Life is a gift. We’re here in this life to grow and evolve. If everything was easy and we glided through every single day, it would mean we were fully evolved and wouldn't have a reason to be alive on this planet.
We're here because we want to learn about ourselves and what we’re holding onto that no longer serves. When you push down parts of yourself that want to be seen, acknowledged and released, they get agitated and try to get your attention. That's when life feels difficult.
Life gives us opportunities to let these parts of ourselves be known, mainly through our relationships. They may feel challenging for sure, in that they can feel like obstacles, but in truth, they’re not. Opportunities are openings to step into and walk through.
Opportunities ask us to be an explorer, one who is open to a new way of being, one who can truly love self enough to do the tough work. It's true, looking at our experiences as opportunities can require a change in mindset. After a while though, when you get a taste of the freedom that’s offered, instead of bemoaning another grinding challenge you’ll hear yourself saying, “Yes, another opportunity! Go me!”