“For a long time it had seemed to me that life was about to begin–real life. But there was always some obstacle in the way, something to be got through first, some unfinished business, time still to be served, a debt to be paid. Then life would begin. At last it dawned on me that these obstacles were my life.” ~ Father Alfred D’Souza …
It often seems as if we are in a race to clear the obstacles out of our way so that we can get on with experiencing our lives in more depth. We convince ourselves that real life–or our ideal life–does not include any issues, conflicts, difficulties, suffering, or adversity. We say, “Things will be better once I graduate high school and am out of my parents’ home,” or “Once I have a career job my stresses will be over,” or “After I am married my life will be set.” The truth, however, is that every chapter of our lives are made up of obstacles, and experiencing these obstacles is simply a part of our lives. When we are children, we have grades to attain, friendships to maintain, sports to train at, people to impress, and parents to get along with. As young adults, we have relationships to develop, responsibility to live up to, careers to begin upon, and independence to embark upon. And as adults, we have children to raise, careers to develop, finances to put in order, relationships to grow, and retirements to plan.
Father Alfred wants us to be aware that our lives will always include challenges. They do not have to be seen as a burden to be fretted over or complained about, rather, they can be accepted as an obstacle along our journey in life. Complaining about them, denying them, avoiding them, or fearing them only leads to further difficulties and robs us of the potential growth and development we have available to us in facing those challenges and overcoming them.
There will always be something to wait for–after the bills are paid, after I finish school, after I get married, after the children leave the house, after I lose 10 kg, after my new house is completed, after I have cleaned up my life, after I have retired. Stop waiting for real life to begin–it is happening right now. And there is no better time for us to live it.
Embrace the challeges of your life.
Questions to consider:
How do you tend to view the obstacles in your life?
Who teaches us that problems should be avoided?
Where has the growth in your life emerged from, the obstacles and complications, or from the times in your life that were problem-free? Why?
For further thought:
“Well, if there was nothing wrong in the world there wouldn’t be anything left for us to do, would there?” ~ George Bernard Shaw, The Collected Works of George Bernard Shaw