Could-Be Obstacles

My youngest daughter has, through illness, had to pull out of the final year of her Honours course. She kept going, when able, to the lectures, because she couldn’t bear to think it might be her last one, and opted to have lunch with a close friend rather than attend what was everyone’s last lecture. It was a difficult day for her. Though she is now thankfully recovering, it would not have been possible to catch up on three months of coursework and lectures that she missed, or to complete her dissertation.

Sometimes, life gets in the way of all the plans you make and then it’s perfectly okay to experience grief, loss and sadness. How she felt had nothing to do with having a Pity Party or feeling sorry for herself. To fail to acknowledge or feel these emotions would mean she was not being true to herself. Or human. It’s only if she was bitter at options that closed off or at unrealised dreams, or if she remained stuck, that problems would arise. For now, to go “with the flow,” could well be to feel pretty miserable.

Louise Hay says we remind ourselves at these times that “All Is Well, For My Higher Good.” Jenni’s Great Auntie Belsie used to say, “This Too Will Pass” (which I recently discovered won a competition for wisdom in the time of the Ancient Greeks). I’ve found both phrases work well for me in helping me live with what IS right now.

I’ve learned to be grateful for the times I didn’t get what I wished for. With “hindsight insight” I am even grateful my failures, my wrong turns, my mistakes, my blocked exits and all the obstacles I’ve had to find ways to clamber over or get around. All of them have brought me to where I am now and to WHO I am now. None of it was wasted time. It was waiting time.

I know enough of her positive attitude to life to know she will bounce back from this and follow her own path. Her right-now path that leads to her right path. As I was thinking of this, I happened to read Pat O’Donohue’s comment on ‘could be’ obstacles; a way of seeing things in a different way. He says:

“Here in the Burren you are befriended by rocks and stones wherever you go. They only become obstacles if you can’t find your way around them. When we were being introduced to the world of garden and meadow it was natural to see a massive grey conversation piece protruding through the brown soil or the green grass. The rows of vegetables never seemed perturbed as they continued around the possible obstacle like the flow of the river meandering on its way further down the valley.

In fact, the fruits of the garden often flourished in the vicinity of this rock. The heat of the limestone warmed the seed and its size sheltered the tender young blossom. It also presented the tired back with a justifiable occasion of straightening and rest. In a mysterious way it seemed beneficial, if not necessary, to have a ‘could be’ obstacle on your path.”

I had never thought of a massive rock in a field like this; I would have been more likely to see it as something to be removed, or something that made planting anything in it’s vicinity to be a waste of time. So then it’s ultimately all about perspective, or how to choose to see what is in front of you.

I don’t know what’s in front of you ; I don’t know what is in front of me either! But my wish for us all is that whatever ‘could be’ obstacles are in our paths, may they mysteriously ultimately turn out to be beneficial. X

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