If you are comfortable you are not growing, and if you are not growing you are dying. All the wonderful experiences and lessons life has to offer are yours just by overcoming challenges. Think about it!
As I ponder upon my life, I find that my best memories are made up of those moments in my life where I chose to accept the challenge made by the emergence of an uncomfortable experience. I also learned that as I forged ahead in spite of my discomfort, wisdom was waiting for me with arms wide open.
In a stanza from one of the Ese Ifa of the Odu Ifa Irosun Wori we are told:
If we continually taste sweetness without tasting a little bitterness also,
Life would be dull.
One who has never experienced the hardship of adversity,
Does not really know the pleasure of prosperity.
One other stanza from an Ese Ifa of the Odu Ifa Iwori Ose says…
Adversity does not come without bringing its good aspects to us.
That which is evil and that which is good come together.
Life is about overcoming challenges. If we run away from challenges, we are condemned to experience situations or relationships masquerading as fantastic opportunities; when in reality, they were just the same challenge doing its best to catch us with our guard down and force us to “deal” with the uncomfortable yet inevitable challenge.
Overcoming Challenges like Anxiety
I can’t speak with authority about the rest of you, but I certainly have experienced anxiety. The tormenting fear of experiencing anxiety kept me from moving out of my comfort zone. I had created such a comfortable life, that anything which threatened to burst my bubble was immediately, and with prejudice, avoided.
Yet anxiety is nothing but an event in the future which may or may not happen. Does it make sense to spend so much time and energy tormenting ourselves over something that is not real? Why isn’t it real? Because it has not happened.
Is there a surefire way for overcoming anxiety?
I don’t have that silver bullet, but I’ve learned that if I take the time to recall similar past experiences, a sense of calm and tranquility embraces me. Do you know why this happens?
Here is why… As I looked to a point in time within my past where I was suffering from anxiety, I recall feeling foolish for having worked myself up to a frenzy for something that turned out to be nothing.
Most everything we have anxiety about will turn out to be inconsequential or it will bring a blessing beyond your wildest imagination.
…anxiety is nothing but an event in the future which may or may not happen.
Do you get it now ?
Life Is Experienced Through Each Other
When we put a “white picket fence” around us, the rest of the world starts trying to knock it down. Is this out of pure malice? I don’t believe so. Each of us come out of the birth canal one at a time. Is this significant?
I believe that we experience life through each other. I have always delighted in the stories told by my elders. Hearing the accounts of their life from 50 or 30 years ago is like being transported into another world.
What I found interesting was that when one person was telling a story that included another elder in the room, that second elder would recount a different version of the same story. Each of us see the world differently, and it is those different pieces of perceived reality that make up the pieces of the puzzle, which is life.
Therefore, if we are here to experience life through each other, then every challenge we overcome helps us grow closer to becoming the highest version of self. And if that highest version of self is the combined consciousness of us all, then we are that one singularity we call God. Hence you might say, that God is experiencing itself through us.
Don’t run away from opportunities to overcoming challenges, and anxiety. Instead, embrace them with the expectation of the wondrous blessing of wisdom which you will recall.