“Nothing of value has no obstacles in its path.” Dr. Henry Cloud
When a family member had an appendectomy, I was asked, “How many caesarean’s did you have?!” I had three and he was amazed I had more than one child. Abdominal surgery recovery is no joke. It’s physically traumatic. Hell, for me, pregnancy itself was physically traumatic. Nine months of discomfort was bad enough, the surgery was a boon compared to that. An end of my suffering. And yes, I did it two more times. You see, I believed Henry. I was willing to go through what I had to because I value the privilege of having kids. That being said, I have also made the huge mistake of accepting some axioms that are not universal truths. Some are cultural. Some are religious. Some are situational. Some are familial. I like how the philosopher Arthur Schopenhauer put it to me:
“Every person takes his own field of vision for the vision of the world.”
For instance, some paths with obstacles are ones no one in their right mind would choose, so when we find ourselves on them we fight and scratch like hell to get off. Your logic may say, “This feels bad, this looks bad, get me outta here,” when you really need to settle in and ride the wave. Your Daddy might have said, “Don’t cry,” or Mamma said, “Chin up,” and your heart is screaming, “Hold it together!” When in reality, coming completely undone is the truly healthy choice.
Maybe you were told, “Don’t be a hater,” but you need to embrace the hate in your heart to keep it from killing you from the inside out.
When I say, “Embrace it,” I mean, take the time to acknowledge it so you can see what it’s all about. Let it expand your understanding of yourself and the way you walk in the world. If you white-knuckle it, hold it captive inside, it eats you up. Real growth faces the things that otherwise eat us up.
It’s so obvious, but maddening. Evolution is a circle, not a straight line forward. My bio friend says that evolution fails when a species dies off, so maybe that’s not the right word, but growth doesn’t happen without the circle of life and death. The Egyptians put it this way, “Grain must return to the earth, die, and decompose for new growth to begin.”
God I hate break downs but have found they are the key to my evolution. It’s practically comical. I can get so stuck in some sort of traditional wisdom, without even realizing that’s the thing holding me back. Sometimes I’m holding it all together when some healing might come if I just dropped the ball and let the chips fall. Somehow, it helps me become aware of internal truth, and growth occurs.
The same way in which some growth requires death, wisdom requires awareness. Meaning, we can get things backwards if we are not careful. Just because nothing of value comes clean and easy, doesn’t mean any old path with obstacles ends with something of value. If you didn’t ask for it, and you didn’t want it, absolutely you can learn from it. But some paths you should avoid altogether, you idiot.