Every day, all year round, things happen to us. But we don’t question why they happen. We can’t, there are too many. But we can question the bigger things. And we do. But it’s how we question them, which makes it all so interesting. I spoke with a friend recently who asked what if the fears she faces are real rather than imagined? The answer to the question is simple: it’s not about the fear. It’s about ourselves and it’s about taking the opportunity to grow as individuals and improve who we are.
There’s no need to worry about whether the fear is real or not. Instead, focus on becoming aware of its effect on you and on working through it. That way you create a better version of yourself because you address the fundamental cause rather than the effect or the trigger. And that is what I told my friend: work through whatever is happening rather than look for proof that your fear is justified. That way you are able to deal with the fear more effectively.
Neither is it a long-term solution to walk away from the problem because the chances are, you will encounter the same fear in the next phase of your life.
I am currently asking the question of myself. Why is this happening (to me)? I am doing everything right, yet I am still struggling. It has been like this for a few weeks now. As yet, I don’t know for sure what is causing the current disturbance, although I have a few ideas. But it doesn’t really matter that much, anyway. The challenge to me at the moment is to keep going. Although it would be easy to become downhearted, I know I need to stand firm, focus on my routine and my goals, and continue to to move forward, however slowly, whilst all the time being just a little more vigilant. And also relax.
An additional point worth mentioning here is that there is a tendency to believe we should seek out such difficult circumstances in order to test ourselves and to grow. After all: what doesn’t kill you makes you stronger. Whilst this may be useful in times of consolation, it is not a guideline I recommend. (See the final paragraph of ‘Analysis & Clues‘ for a comment on how we should use our awareness to steer clear of certain situations.) We need only focus on our goals and what we need to do to get us there. The difficult situations will come up anyway; that’s how it works. And every time they do, it is a chance to learn about ourselves and to see just how capable we are. We are capable of much more than we imagine.
During the difficult times, we tell ourselves all sorts of things to avoid confronting the issue. But once we see what we can learn for ourselves, we also see that, if we do things appropriately, it will be to the benefit of others involved too. A win-win situation. That is not to say, however, that we should expect others to change.
All of this is possible when we question why things happen to us with the intention of seeing the opportunity for (mutual) growth. So, rather than ask ‘Why is this happening to me?‘, which can have the effect of putting ourselves in the role of the victim, we can ask:
- What can I learn about who I am?
- How can I use what is happening in order to become a better version of myself?
- What is the best way to handle this to create the possibility for a win-win situation?
I remember writing often enough in my journals: it’s during the low times when I seem to learn so much about myself and when the opportunities to grow are the greatest. And it’s true. During the good times we can stand back a little and appreciate who we are and how far we have come, whereas during the bad times it is, more often than not, time to roll up our sleeves and get growing.