February 4 – Gifts

Today’s meditation opens with a quote from Shakti Gawain: “Problems are messages.” I believe this to be true. The problems we face in life offer us opportunities to learn, and if we fail to get the message, we are doomed to repeat the past until we finally do. In this way, the challenges we face in life are truly gifts in that they make us better, wiser, stronger people. To learn is painful, yet failing to learn hurts worse.

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On the topic of gifts, Anne Wilson Scahef writes:

I always believe that the intensity of the whack alongside the head that life has to give us in order to get a lesson through to us is directly proportionate to the height and breadth of our stubbornness and illusion of control.

Problems give us the opportunity to learn something. If we don’t get the learning the first time around, we get another chance, and another, and another. If we miss the learning completely the first time, the next whack will be a little harder, and then the next one even harder. We get many opportunities to learn the lessons we need to learn in this life.

Obstacles are gifts for learning. We never really know what we have learned until we have learned it. Then we are ready for the next learning.”

I could not agree more with Anne on this topic. As a particularly stubborn person intent on clinging to my silly illusion of control, I have often had to face the same painful problems over and over again until life finally hits me hard enough to learn the damn lesson and move on. I’m glad that I am at least capable of looking for the lesson in my problems. This openness to learning is the true gift. Some people I have known never learn, they never look for the lesson in the bad things that happen to them, and so they fail to see why they must repeat the same trials and tribulations over again, instead falling prey to the victim mentality of “Oh, woe is me. Life and everyone in it must be out to get me.” Learning and growth are beautiful things, and we must remember they come from pain and discomfort in our lives.

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