As I’m preparing the last pieces for some seriously big shifts in my business that feel like they’ve been years and years in the making, I’ve been musing on quite how long it feels like it’s taken me to “get here”.
In the past, I made the mistake of thinking of this “in contrast” to others, but the reality is that not only is every single journey utterly unique, but additionally the journey for most people who reach a level of something that it feels like they’ve been aiming for in life/work/love/business/art/whatever has been a very long time in the making, and the perceptions that we have about ourselves are oftentimes so very skewed.
In connecting with my beloved clients around these subjects, I note that many feel such tremendous obstacles are blocking the path that it might never be possible to actualise the kind of life that we really want to be living (which is really just an expression of self-actualisation). Sadly, this feeling causes some to have just given up somewhere along the way. Sometimes these obstacles are paper tigers that are easily shifted through perception, sometimes they are legitimate and very valid life challenges that bring with them a certain amount of need for innovation, patience, and absolute determination and courage to persevere in seeing them through to conclusion. But the fact that they are there does not mean “impossible”, it means “opportunity”.
It is this type of obstacle that I want to speak of today.
It is a mistake to imagine that we are the only ones facing considerable difficulties. Yes, it’s true that many people may have comparatively easier journeys and could be coming from backgrounds that are a lot more supportive, with less concerns in both the personal and metaphysical sense, but comparing ourselves to others is the very first place that we pave the way for our own perceived failure.
Why? Because we are not others, we are ourselves. We cannot possibly be others, nor can they be us. Our journey has been given to us for a reason, and the more deeply we honour that with all our heart, the more our own path will open before us like a flower revealing the way forward where it didn’t seem to be before. But unless we look to ourselves first we will never find that way. If we throw aside the precious gift that life has given us in the form of our experience alone in pursuit of something else, it immediately signals to the universe that its offerings are not good enough. Opportunity does not flow to an ungrateful heart.
The exact obstacles that we have been gifted with are the very treasures that when we open them up and find the gift within, will pave the way to the most extraordinary well of magic that we uniquely have to offer to the world, that could not have come in any way but through having been forged in the fires of our self-becoming.
No other being on the planet has what we have. Our obstacles are the opportunity to craft of ourselves and our lives an exquisite artwork the likes of which has never been seen before and will never be seen again. Our chance to contribute something to life that is from the core of the heart, offered with all our devotion, as the dedication of our unique existence. What could be more beautiful and wonderful and privileged than that? To forsake it, thinking it should be “other”, is the first place we strip ourselves of the dignity of humble recognition of the divine at work that is the birthright of every being. We lose our peace, for there can be no peace when we are not at home.
In the most basic sense, our obstacles are the opportunity to find ourselves, to discover strengths we never knew we had, to develop deeply in ways we would never have to otherwise, to uncover skills and abilities that once realised, we would never ever give up again, to self-refine and polish the diamond of our being to radiant luminosity such that our shining lights up all the darkness in the world. All of these things and more, are what are hidden in the biggest challenges of your life.
Yes, it may take you longer to get where you want to be, but what does that even mean? Speed and timeframes are totally objective and different for every person. We cannot measure ourselves against the lives of others who don’t have our specific challenges, it is such an insult to ourselves to do so. It has to be ok that others may not understand, and that sometimes we may not even understand ourselves. Weathering the storm of misunderstanding, misperception, judgement and frequent misplaced rejection is one of the first testing grounds to see if we really want what we say we want as much as we say we do. If we cannot make it through that standing strong, the next steps will be far too hard. Be willing to not be understood, and let yourself rest in the self-respect of recognising your value anyway. If you exist, you have a purpose in life.
Sometimes it may feel like you’re the only one with the challenges that you have, and it can be a lonely journey. In my case, significant long-term trauma that left me with complex PTSD, plus being neurodiverse (not an easy combination to work with) has many times had me feeling that literally nobody “gets” the struggles that I’m working through and no advice or suggestions provided by anybody else are of any use whatsoever.
Oftentimes, we’re not as alone in our struggles as we think – just others going through similar things might not be speaking up about it either. And at other times still, it is absolutely true that no advice or suggestions provided by anybody else are of any use whatsoever, because we are supposed to forge our own unique path completely, and nobody else on the planet has the blueprint for that but us. Sometimes, the very point of our challenges is exactly that – that we’re here to establish something that has never been done in the exact way that we’re doing it before. And that is reason enough to keep going, in my opinion.
Many of the most inspiring people who have ever lived had significant obstacles to overcome, remember this. Never give up on your dreams just because there are obstacles in your way. With enough determination, no obstacle is an end-point – it is your chance to find yourself in ways you never imagined. It is your chance to reveal to yourself who you really are, and find in the depths of that place the peace and fulfilment you’ve already dreamed of. Believe it not, YOU are what you’ve always wanted. Just you, as you are. Self-actualisation.
You are enough, and you can do it (whatever it is)
To your self-actualisation…