Turn Challenges into Gold
Caroline Myss is an author, inspirational teacher and healer in the fields of human consciousness, health and spirituality, among other things.
I wanted to share a few of her quotes as food for thought about the impact of challenges and choices in our lives. I briefly comment on them, but the goal is to allow you to rethink how you approach challenges and how these can become growth experiences rather than victimizing experiences.
My goal is always to lead individuals to develop self-awareness to pass on this beautiful gift to their children, friends or family to make this world a better place at an individual and global level.
The more self-aware we become, the less reactive we are. The less reactive we are, the more present we are to what life places in our path, and the more we can live in gratitude and grace.
“The challenge that each of us is confronted with during our periods of suffering is whether to allow pain to remain at the ego level or whether we can transform our ego pain into a process that strengthens our soul.” — Caroline Myss
This way to face life challenges had supported me through the difficult times such as when my two-year-old was diagnosed with leukaemia and a challenging separation from my husband. After the initial shock, denial and despair, I transformed these emotions by opening my eyes to the possibility of finding the gifts in these situations. Asking myself “what do I need to learn from this” as opposed to “why is this happening to me, to us?”
A second very helpful element was to accept the challenges as opposed to wishing them away or focussing on the past.
Third, I let go of the need to control. Whether it be the need to know that my daughter would be cured, or the need to know what I did wrong, it was futile. No amount of information would give me more control. Instead, I surrendered to the “what is” and decided to live through it and trust that even if I did not know what the future held, that I had no ability to control the future or its outcomes, that whatever would happen would be in my best interest.
Fourth, handling these periods of suffering with the faith that something good would come out of them even if the mind tends to say “What the hell good can come out of a two-year-old having cancer?” I resisted those thoughts as best as I could.
Changing our perceptions about challenges make them more bearable because I know that I will be okay.
Through the difficulties, I also discovered how strong and resilient I am, and I come out of the storms victorious and undefeated. When all else fails, and I am on my knees crying, these simple phrases that Caroline Myss teaches us to use as mantras have carried me through the most difficult times, without fail: “Hover over me, God” and “Man’s rejection is God’s protection”.
“Built into each of our lives are countless challenges that highlight what we fear and what we find difficult to confront. Regardless of what these challenges are, the underlying purpose inherent in every one of these situations is the opportunity to respond in ways that increase our awareness of our own inner strength and power.” — Caroline Myss.
On my life path were placed a multitude of challenges I never thought I had the strength to go through, yet I did. Life has shown me that I am strong beyond belief. I just need to trust.
So when faced with a challenge remind yourself that you have two choices: approach the challenge with fear or love. If you are fearful, you will miss a great opportunity to discover your tremendous inner strength. So don’t resist the difficulty, allow it to pass through you and you will see what I mean. What you resist persists. What you focus on grows. So don’t resist and don’t focus on the bad, focus on the solution and the desired outcome.
“Until you surrender the need to know why things happened to you as they did, you will hold on to your wounds with intense emotional fire.” Caroline Myss
Don’t waste energy trying to figure out why things happened, invest energy in trying to figure out how to get through them. Do not dwell on the past, regrets or resentments. Instead, aim your attention on the future reality or state you want to experience and live it as if it is already a reality. Feel it deeply so that you can allow it to become a reality.
Acceptance is not condoning a wrongdoing. Acceptance enables us to see what is. Only then can we focus on the next steps and not stay stuck. Fighting or resisting what has happened will in no way make it go away or turn back the hands of time. Non-acceptance is futile. It only causes more suffering.
“Every life has a purpose that unfolds amid a journey of endless opportunities. The choices we make, and the underlying motivations that determine these choices, influence the quality of the next opportunity.” Caroline Myss.
You decide if your choices will be made out of fear or guilt, or out of love and faith. Choices based on the former do not usually bring us the outcomes we wish for, but rather place more of the same challenges that feed our fear or guilt.
When faced with opportunities, stop and think before you make a choice. Will you respond in fear/guilt or with love/faith. See your life take a turn for the better.
Choices made in fear or guilt are choices we end up resenting. As a result, these choices will bring about challenging outcomes. It never ends.
Be quiet and if fear creeps up, notice, and let the fear pass. Instead, trust your gut or intuition and see what you would do if you were not scared, and do that! The more you do it and see the endless possibilities, the more the fear will die down.
The outcomes will speak for themselves. As a result, there will be no turning back because you will experience the relief of making choices from an authentic place. And there is no better way to live!