Are you facing an obstacle or test? Sometimes that thing we think is an obstacle, that giant awkward challenge that we’re facing and not quite sure how to resolve, isn’t actually an obstacle at all. It’s the universe checking on on your level of commitment to that thing you said you wanted to do.
Your obstacle is actually a test.
An important one. Passing or failing might not equal life or death, but it does directly effect the timing in which the thing you’ve been chasing arrives. That big scary dream you’re chasing? Failing the test could delay your results, and nobody wants that.
Real Life Story Time –
I have some autoimmune diseases that cause some health struggles from time to time. The wrong food choice, not enough sleep, not enough water/hydration, too much coffee, a change in my regular routine… all factors in my body’s negative reaction to life and stress.
Traveling has been a struggle for quite a few years. Leaving my home for even just the weekend almost guaranteed a flare up the first or second night I was away from my safety zone. I’ll spare you the details, but its not a fun experience and can leave me in pain, completely exhausted and drained. Side effects which take a lot of fun out of whatever it was I was traveling for in the first place.
I am in the midst of a very busy season schedule wise. I have travelled more in the last few weeks than I have in the last few years combined. It’s an exciting, happy, thrilling thing… but stressful and comes with it an unknown element… how is my body going to respond to these stressors?
The first trip I took, at the beginning of this shift in my “normal”, was with my Mom and her best friend. They were in the area for a few weeks and wanted to go do fun things with me. I was so down!
They picked me up on Friday afternoon and we made the 1.5 hour drive to the Fort Worth area hotel they reserved, got dinner, did a little shopping and had a grand time. Saturday morning we headed out early for downtown Dallas. They had “touristy” plans and I was heading to a coworking space for a little networking and weekend coworking session. We all had a great day first half of our day and continued the fun with some shopping and dinner out.
An hour into shopping I could feel my body start to shift in a negative direction. I made the best food choices I could at dinner, but could sense I had a rough night a head of me. When the flare up comes, I tend to get a really bad headache and get really quiet. My mom (cause she’s totally got that mother’s intuition thing, even after 35+ years) could sense something was up and we headed to the hotel to chill for the rest of the evening. I fell into a fitful sleep pretty early and was up and down the rest of the night with a full blown flare up.
In the midst of the very worst of what my body was dealing with, I was struggling with a little bit of a pity party. Why me? Why did this have to happen? Why do I have to struggle with this so frequently? What the HECK is going to happen over the next few months with so much planned travel?
And then… What if this is just a test?
What if this is actually a test?
What if this is my opportunity to prove to the universe that I am ready for the all the growth I have headed my way? What if passing this test meant that everything I ever wanted was getting closer to being within my reach? What if failing meant I had to relearn some lessons and wait even longer to achieve my dreams?
With startling clarity, I knew in that moment that this wasn’t an ordinary flare up. This was my proving ground.
And in that instant everything shifted for me.
Now, I didn’t immediately start to feel physically better. I still had the ride out the flare up storm, but mentally, I was on a whole other level. I was thinking about how I was so ready for this new season. That I wasn’t willing to let anything derail the forward momentum I was gaining. That the absolute worst thing that I could do was let this flare up “win”. I was determined to not fail this test.
In an hour or so the worst of the physical symptoms passed and I fell into a deep and restorative sleep. Sunday morning dawned bright and clear, and while I was still quite drained, I felt like a new person.
I sent my Mom and her friend off to do the things they had planned for Sunday morning, and I took advantage of some alone time. I got busy with a little work, a whole lot of journaling and some meditation. They took me back home later that afternoon. I got smothered with puppy kisses (the perfect cure to any lingering flare up side effects), snuggled with the Hubs, went to bed early. I awoke on Monday morning with a renewed sense of determination and clarity.
Obstacle or Test? THAT is the question:
Ask yourself is this an Obstacle or Test? Every obstacle is either an opportunity to learn something you’ll need for a future challenge, or it is a test in disguise. How you handle that obstacle determines how quickly you get to move on to the next level. It will also determine if you have to “go ‘round this mountain again” and relearn a few things.
Now, don’t get me wrong, obstacles are put in our way for a reason. It’s an essential part of life and the learning/growing process. If you want to move to another level, you have to be willing to face the obstacles. They’re a natural part of that forward movement.
If you think about life and our evolving journey like a school, the tests totally make sense. To move on to learning new things, you have to pass a test or two. To move up a grade level, you have to prove that you have the knowledge base. With each new level came new challenges and greater opportunities. Life is essentially the same.
If you want bigger and better you have to face the tests that prove your ready.
And when you’re ready to face that obstacle, and see it for the test that it is… OH BOY! You’ll be unstoppable!