How Life’s challenges can either serve as a great leap forward or a setback

By Nina Steele 

The beauty of life I find is that we all have to face our demons one way or the other. No one can get away with dodging their problems for ever. It would be far easier if we could all sail through life, never having to face the difficult issues that ultimately will define who we are as individuals but of course that will defeat the purpose of life itself.

Take the issue of childlessness for example. That so many people find it difficult to come to terms with it, is in great part due to the fear that not having children will automatically exclude them from the mainstream of society. Add to that the fact that most people spend their lives in competition with their friends and family and you end up with a very unpleasant situation, with unhappiness the only outcome.

Funny how we claim to want only happiness for ourselves, yet we are afraid to make those difficult decisions that will ultimately lead to that very happiness. Put simply, we want to be happy, yet we don’t want to work for it. We want to have it on the cheap, without breaking a sweat.

What most people do not realise, is that the very challenges that they are trying to run away from are there for a reason and that reason is to help us grow as individuals. Refusing to see this reality for what it is, is akin to trying to fight life itself and it does not take a scientist to predict who the loser will be.

I remember the time when I used to pray for a life without struggle. I had this strong belief that whatever I want in life I get, until it became obvious that I wasn’t going to become a mother and then I was forced to look at life in a different light. Before, I tended to see things in black and white. Having everything I wanted in life was good and not having them was bad and that is unfortunately how many people see it too. It never occurred to me that some of the things that we think we want can actually be bad for us.

For example, in our case, who knows what would have happened to us had we had children? Would our marriage still be as strong as it is today? Would we be as financially stable? We will never know for sure, and it is this mystery that has made me realise that there is more to life than meet the eye. My understanding of it is this: everything that happens to us has a purpose and instead of trying to fight it, our best chance of living in peace and happiness is to either try and find a solution to whatever the issue is or if we are unable to find a solution, accept it and move on.

The internet is littered with stories of people feeling sorry for themselves for not having this or that, or blaming others for their unhappiness. Many of these people know exactly what they need to do in order to be happy, however they are too afraid to do what it takes and find comfort in self-pity. The only problem is that the universe will never let them find happiness until they face up to their demons. They can delay it any way they like, but ultimately they will have to deal with it.

As they say, the universe helps those with courage and so instead of trying to dodge your problems, have the courage to face them head on. Make that into a habit and your happiness level will increase.

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