Turning Difficulty into Beauty




It seems that no matter where I go these days, whether at the grocery store, veterinary clinic, or with friends and family, I find people experiencing a higher than usual level of difficulty than in the past. We are all going through a growth spurt. Difficulty is an opportunity in disguise. What looks like a problem is really a challenge to change and move into a higher level of being.

How many times do we miss this and only see the problem? When I look back on my life, I find that my times of greatest spiritual development and personal growth have come from struggling. We learn through resistance. We must push against the norm in order to break into a different way of seeing and being.

Our human nature much prefers that life is easy. In fact, in religion, we have even suggested that if you are following God’s will, your life will be blessed, and if you are not doing so well, we have a wee tendency to look down our noses at one another and secretly, or perhaps not so secretly, wonder what one has done to deserve these circumstances.

While in fact we do attract circumstances to us, we could hold much less moral judgment towards things than we do. We attract what we need to learn. This is a blessing from our soul. I can’t tell you what your circumstances are trying to teach you, but I can look at my own life and try to glean from mine what might be trying to grow inside of me.

The very things that have appeared in the guise of tragedy in my life have turned out to be the catalyst for beauty. Just like the small particle of sand embedded inside an oyster begins the process of creating a beautiful pearl, so difficulty, struggle, set-backs, hardship, and tragedy begin the process of creating beauty in our character.

This is a hard pill to swallow. We have lived in a culture of ease, a mindset of personal comfort and security, an emphasis on self-interest and getting ahead, and strong focus on personal, professional, and financial success. It is not difficult to see how we are so easily discouraged by discomfort and hardship.

Perhaps this gives us a small glimpse into our need to be moved outside of this artificial reality into an environment that will facilitate more growth. We can be blessed into hell. When difficulties come, we can hear them as a herald, an invitation, to grow more fully into God’s intention for our lives.

When we can accept what has happened in our lives and move into relationship with it, we begin the process of reconciliation with reality. This acceptance allows us to move through it with more grace. We learn to dance with what has shown up on our doorstep and with this acceptance we are able to pass more quickly through the difficulty into the fruits of growth that it brings with it.

By blessing what appears to be a curse, it is transformed, and so are we. I wish for you many blessings as you come into relationship with whatever is posing on your doorstep as a giant challenge. May you learn to be in beautiful relationship with one another and see your nemesis become your teacher.

Comments

Seb said…
Great post! This is very helpful. I'm sure I'd visit your site more often. Anyway, you can drop by my favorite online hang out too, at UK Student Community. Thanks!
Julie Smith said…
Seb~Thanks for the comment. Dropped by your UK site and it looks like fun. Blessings to you!

Julie
Jan said…
Julie,
I have been meaning to get over here to say hi and wish you well. I continue to hold you and yours in heart and prayer. I so appreciate the heart of this post. I absolutely agree and know that I, too, experience my greatest growth (esp. trust and surrender) in the midst of adversity, suffering, sorrow, or pain. I appreciate that you encourage us to look at our nemesis (what we think we don't want, but receive) as our teacher. :-) Blessings all around!
Jan

(p.s. If you are still actively following blogs these days, I'd like to personally invite you to stop in at my new blog, "A Room of Her Own." We are creating a women's sacred circle there...You would be most welcome. xo
Julie Smith said…
Jan,

Sending you big hugs~so nice to 'see' you here! Thanks for your lovely thoughts. Yes, grow time is always a bit uncomfortable. We are doing well, however, and feel myriads of blessings and are rejoicing in all of our good 'fortune'.

I'd love to take a look at your sacred circle. What a lovely idea. I have a women's group here that is a sacred circle. We meet about once a month and it is so nice to be with kindred souls. I look forward to following your "A Room of Her Own".

Love and Blessings to you~
Julie