As we start to see signs of spring, excitement begins to grow inside us because a season of renewal is about to come. These past two years we have faced many challenges and it appears they will linger a bit longer than we had anticipated. I would like to invite you to see that all the obstacles that come your way are steppingstones to spring you forward into creating the life you want.
It’s important to remember in this process that you are the co-creator of your life and that means that not all the steps to get to your destination are up to you. Our Creator has a specific plan for us on this earth and we have to learn to listen and see the signs instead of fighting them. When we fight them, we create resistance, and we end up stuck and unhappy in believing that things will never change.
The obstacles and challenges that come our way can’t stop us from moving forward, however, they will redirect the path that we need to take. I deeply embrace the Marcus Aurelius quote: “What stands in the way becomes the way” to catch myself from getting caught up in frustration and discouragement when obstacles show up in my life. I choose to see them as opportunities.
One important step in transforming challenges into opportunities is to get a hold of our emotions once that we realize that we are facing a difficulty. Emotions can create internal turmoil, or they can accelerate our success. There are so many emotions to describe what we are experiencing; however, they can be distilled into only two: fear and love. And when we are facing challenges, we easily slide into fear and we may not even notice it. To help better manage our emotions in difficult times is to drop the judgement of good or bad of what is coming to us. If we drop the label “fair-unfair” or “good or bad” we are left with just the facts, or what is present, and our emotions don’t get in the way of finding our path again. And that new path is likely to be a better one.
Another important aspect of this process is to not lose sight of our goal or destination. We can become easily discouraged or derailed and give up along the way. But if instead of giving up we become curious and start looking for what is beyond the doors that are closing in front of us, we may begin to notice that there are many open doors behind the one that is closed. And often times, we can find better opportunities.
I have learned to spend time in stillness and quietude once that I come to the realization that I am facing a challenge. Of course, I acknowledge and honor my emotions when they first show up, but I refuse to get caught up in them and allow them to dictate my future.
As spring begins to show up, rejoice in the opportunities that are coming your way. Allow your life to blossom in spite of challenges that you may face. Let the challenges be the steppingstones to your greater life. You are in charge of creating new opportunities when difficulties present themselves in disguise.
Veronica Correa, LCSW-C, is a licensed clinical social worker, certified hypnotherapist and life coach.