Wednesday, January 16, 2008

Why This? Why Now?

Dr. Gabriella Kortsch, at Psychology, Transformation & Freedom Papers, posted an article today on how we might look at obstacles as opportunities for growth.

The very connotation of obstacle is something grim, gloomy, foreboding, awful, and the dictionary tells us that it is a barrier and a hindrance, an impediment, an interference, a difficulty and an inconvenience.

And yet, obstacles, by their very nature, precisely because they must be overcome if we are to surmount them, offer an innate opportunity. If we allow ourselves to view obstacles from another standpoint, we might just come to the conclusion that obstacles are our friends.


Yes. Our friends. That old business about every cloud having a silver lining...there is actually some merit in it. If you can look at your obstacles as opportunities for growth, there is not a shred of doubt in my mind that you will find something of value in your moment of difficulty....

As an avid reader of Pema Chodron's work, this is not a new concept for me, but the timing in impeccable. Just like today's Daily Om, it is a reminder that my (our?) challenges are important chances to see and experience things differently than my rational mind would prefer to. The more I can sit with obstacles and experience the feelings that come up, the more open my hearts become.

My life has been disrupted of late by memories and feelings I thought I had long ago put aside. I am struggling to understand the meaning of all this -- and am also clear that I may never make sense of it in any rational way. But, I am reminded that when talking about dreams, Carl Jung's most important question was, "Why this dream now?"

So, I am pondering: "Why this immersion in feelings I haven't felt in more than ten years?" And, "Why did my actions lead me to experience this situation now?"

Obviously there is something to be learned in all this. Unfortunately, it may be weeks or months before I can see the dharma lesson I need to learn. Until then -- if then ever comes -- all I can do is sit with the questions, acknowledge the feelings that come up, and do my best to let the process unfold without imposing my need for clarity.

Ambiguity, confusion, doubt, grief -- all these are good teachers. I am trying to be a willing and able student.


Gabriella Kortsch, Ph.D. said...

Hello William,

Thanks for having my post on your excellent blog!

Making rational sense of grief, confusion, ambiguity, and doubt is something I have long been striving for ... but since it can not always be readily grasped with one's hand, as you point out, I find myself asking instead "how can I use this moment to lift myself to another level of energetic vibration, despite these thoughts that may threaten to overwhelm me?"

In other words, the present moment of confusion or pain may well serve its purpose simply by showing me that despite its magnitude, I am capable – within my own inner being – of transcending it by taking myself to another feeling level. I believe that the feeling level, the energetic frequency of my being determines much more the place in which I am within myself, than any thought. Thought can be analyzed and broken down into clinical bits, whereas the inner energy state – and what I do with it - is much more the indicator of where I truly am on my road to inner freedom and growth.

Gabriella (from Spain)

william harryman said...

Hi Gabriella,

Thanks for stopping by and sharing your thoughts -- much appreciated.

I'm a fan of your blog and link to it often in my speedlinks.