Recently I had the opportunity to listen to three people who are going through many challenges in their lives right now.
As I listened to each, I marveled at the resiliency that each had in dealing in their own ways with their challenges.
Following the conversations, I recalled a story that I once heard that reminded me that while everyone has challenges, some challenge are greater than others.
A group of people who had gathered together began to share some of their problems and frustrations. At one point, the facilitator of the group asked them to stop, take a moment to reflect and to write down five problems that they were facing in their lives at this time. He then asked them to fold the papers and place them in a basket that he was passing around.
When all had put their papers into the basket, he mixed them all up and then passed the basket around again instructing the people to remove a paper from the basket and quietly read the paper that they had selected. He then asked if anyone in the room would choose to exchange their own problems for those listed on the paper that they had drawn. No one did. No one wanted to. No one felt that their problems were worse than the ones experienced by the author of the list that they held.
It seems unfair, and sometimes overwhelming, to face hardships and threats to life, safety, security, well-being and happiness. We may not understand the reasons for the pain and fear that result from these life challenges.
Nonetheless, they offer the greatest opportunity for growth and emergence of inner strength that was heretofore unrecognized in ourselves.
A favorite poem of mine that was shared many years ago by a dear friend makes the poignant point:
I walked a mile with pleasure;
She chattered all the way.
But I was none the wiser,
For all she had to say.
I walked a mile with sorrow;
Not a word said she.
But oh, the lessons that I learned,
When sorrow walked with me.
by Robert Browning Hamilton
Affirmation for the Week:
“I look inward for the strength and wisdom that I need and I move beyond the pain that I experience from the challenges in my life.”
Have a wisdom-seeking week!
Mary “Motivator” Rau-Foster