As the year starts to unfold, and the New Year’s resolutions list has been misplaced, maybe it’s time to honestly examine what obstacles might be in the path of a quality of life you yearn to embrace. Does the relationship with your son-in-law need healing? What might be the barrier to shedding those 30 pounds your doctor has advised you to lose to lower your blood pressure? How about that entrepreneurial idea that keeps nagging you? Is there an enormous incompletion with the woman you dated for two years? Does the hurt from her betrayal of that one night stand gnaw at you to forgive, but you just won’t?
Obstacles can also apply to short-term goals, such as why the fax machine doesn’t work when you’ve followed all the instructions and you’re growing more angry by the minute, why none of your friends are available to accompany you on a travel venture and now you won’t be going, or wanting to get through a contract that is important to read thoroughly, but not understanding it.
As defined by this computer’s dictionary, an obstacle is somebody or something that hinders or prevents progress. There is something that prevents us from confronting our son-in-law with our feelings, disciplining ourself to make healthy food choices, being willing to make mistakes as we learn, and taking the risks necessary to fulfill a passion. This “something” or “somebody” acts like a splinter in our finger. We may avoid it for a while, until it starts to fester, redden, and eventually becomes incredibly irritating. It doesn’t go away until it’s addressed and removed.
Until you address and remove the obstacle, the barrier, the obstruction to any meaningful goal or form of progress, it will become the pink elephant in the room that nobody acknowledges. Whether career choices or daily challenges, obstacles can run our lives as we turn over our power to them in lieu of taking the time to examine and evaluate the entire situation.
The relationship with a son-in-law (or any family member as far as that goes) lacks harmony and friendship. It’s something that he said a long time ago along that disturbed you and you’re not ready to forgive and forget, so you simply avoid and put off family gatherings when you know he’ll be attending.
Lesson: One sign of an obstacle in your path is avoidance and procrastination. It is as blatant as a red flag if you are honest enough with your self to recognize it. It doesn’t disappear just because you want it to. There is a gift here and something to learn about yourself in this exact situation.
Solution: Pay attention. Get in touch with your true feelings and be willing to communicate your truth. What are you really feeling as a result of what he said? Insulted, hurt, invalidated, neglected? Confrontation is healthy when done from intention to learn and heal. Nobody can invalidate your feelings. This is one way to dismantle that barrier and take back your power. Obstacles can be removed when you are willing to get out the magnifying glass and take an honest look inward at yourself.
You’ve been told it is imperative to your health that you lose weight, but you have no discipline. You make attempts from time to time, but never achieve the high sign from the doc. You’d love to, if only…
Lesson: Anytime you think your problems will go away if something else in your outer world changes, you are fooling yourself big time. The desire to change initiates from your inner world and once it occurs the perfect help and support seems to magically materialize in your outer world. Weight serves as a protection, so examine those old memories and the power you have given them. Many women connect attractive with vulnerability, so they protect themselves with excess weight.
Solution: Face your fears. Remold your thought patterns and be open to a new perception of yourself that you are powerful, and are in control of your mind. Identify with strength and wisdom, rather than your ego. There isn’t anything you can’t accomplish if you have the mindset to feed it.
You have an idea that keeps you awake at night and you believe it’s “hot,” but nobody is ready to fund it, so you settle and do something else with your time. Name the obstacle here? Is it fear of going into debt? Is it lack of confidence? What about inexperience and lack of ability to make the proper contacts?
Lesson: If you are honest with yourself, you know the answers to these questions. Does this idea have true merit or is it another link in a chain of prior attempts to prove yourself to someone? We are here to fulfill our purpose and passion and it may involve taking risks. But we also need to be discerning and make wise choices for our highest good.
Solution: Start by questioning your belief system to determine if your foundational beliefs are sabotaging or supporting? As a child, what did you hear from your parent about your ability to succeed? How healthy is your self-esteem and confidence? If you knew you couldn’t fail would you proceed? The answers come best through quiet time. Ask the universe for guidance and allow yourself to hear that still small voice. Quiet the chatter of your mind and listen to your inner wisdom. It will dissolve obstacles like the warmth of the sun melting a fresh layer of snow.
The relationship that you thought was “the one” has been dissolved for some time, but you’re still holding onto making her wrong for cheating on you. You’re not going to let her off so easy.
Lesson: You may be using this experience to legitimize an earlier similar experience. Be truthful now: did you ever think about cheating on someone? Did you act on it? How about betrayal? Was disappointment and hurt the result of someone counting on you? Would you really like to blame another person? Mother or father, maybe? Explore this gift that has been presented in your outer world, from the inner world. You will unveil the gift this experience is bringing to your life.
Solution: Be willing to take total responsibility for your reality. This will take you out of the victim role and into one of empowering yourself to move on. After all, who’s really doing the suffering here? Although it may be a colossal stretch, explore your intention for the relationship to work. There is a concept that what we get is truly what we intend. I know, it doesn’t feel good and makes no sense to the monkey mind, but I invite you to entertain the thought. Just being open and aware, without judgment, will move you into another space with regard to the pain you’re feeling. Take quiet time and listen to your intuition. Trust the process and watch it unfold. There is work to be done, and this is step number one, the biggest one you’ll take in knowing yourself. Embracing the truth about intention can be applied to every area of your life. Let the good times roll.
As Maya Angelou said, “You can learn a lot about a person by the way he/she handles a rainy day, lost luggage or tangled Christmas tree lights.” There is much to learn from your obstacles. They are some of your best teachers.
So embrace your obstacles. Love and welcome them into your life—just the way they are. Engage with them and allow them to talk to you. Adapt and work with the conditions you are facing. Taking these steps are signs of confidence, resilience and conviction. You are bigger than any of your obstacles. Change old habits that no longer serve you. Today is the first day of the rest of your life. Make your own attitude adjustments by changing your thinking and changing your life.