Let’s talk about life’s inevitable walls, shall we?

I know, I know, your personal development guru told you that all challenges are an illusion, which are self-created by your own belief system, so just reframe them into opportunities, and you’ll be good to go – right? Or, perhaps you’ve decided to channel your blame towards some outer system that feeds on your dysfunction, and stimulates the world’s problems, making us all victims to circumstance.

Okay – I’ll admit, reframing our thinking does offer some short-term relief by expanding our perspective. And, experiencing a perceived problem isn’t exactly comfortable, so it makes sense that we’d want to blame our complications on a boogieman. Either way, in one case we’re diverting our power by pretending, and in the other, we’re defusing our power through anger, blame and denial.

I completely understand the longing for all discomfort and problems to go away! Wouldn’t it be nice if we were always floating in a bubble of synthesis, creativity, passion, and love? Of course, it’d be so much easier to live in a world where “it’z aaaaallll gooood.”

I don’t know about you, but as much as I cherish periods of expansiveness and joy in my life, these moments cannot eliminate the fact that sometimes I do experience problems. Yes, hindsight often delivers purpose and meaning, and at the same time, I’m willing to admit that sometimes I’m challenged to see the solutions and opportunities within any given moment.

So, guru, here’s my question – since when did the existence of problems become… well… such a problem?

Since when did mere reality get so contorted, over-processed and needy for spiritual rationalization? Since when did it become necessary to transcend our humanly existence and reach demigod status, by skipping over our full range of emotions? Aren’t we just all human beings having a spiritual experience, no matter what we’re feeling or experiencing? I think so.

Here’s what I’ve observed in my 44-years as a humble earthling. Sometimes we humans really do feel drained by our circumstances, and pretending this isn’t the case is often the root of much bigger problems.

Sometimes we do experience difficulties, and when we refuse to acknowledge them, they just get heavier and more burdensome. Disowning certain experiences with masks of false positivity, or placing burdens of blame on outer systems, isn’t going to make our lives any easier – in fact, it usually only delays progress.

Let’s pause for a moment and remind ourselves that us human-freaking-beings, we ALL face barriers from time-to-time. It’s a normal part of what we’re here to do on Earth, not to mention, a contributing factor to our learning and growth.

I know you seem to have it all figured-out, guru.

You’ve seemingly transcended all earthly experiences, based on your own exceptional connection to spiritual forces. Yet, no matter what illusions you depict about yourself, guru, you too experience the same world we all do – one that is filled with both glorious joys and serious pains. And, the last I checked, nobody is immune to reality, even those who try painfully hard to bypass it.

So, guru, since when did reality get categorized as so unworthy of your enlightenment?

It seems to me that only when we face our perceived problems, we give ourselves the chance to get the most wildly creative. And, if we could just allow problems to exist without ignoring, avoiding, or judging them, then perhaps they’d become less perpetuating, and more opportunistic. While it’s wonderful to think that a problem-free utopia will rescue us from whatever it is we’d prefer to avoid, reality usually begs for a little more effort, beyond merely wishing-away problems.

So, here’s another question for you, oh wise guru – how can we get unstuck without acknowledging our predicament in the first place?

Lately, I’ve noticed a rise against “effort” unfolding. It’s become a borderline fashion statement to focus on ease and flow, as opposed to celebrating challenge and hard work. It’s as if anyone who puts forth notable effort, or is willing to endure life’s inevitable challenges is somehow missing-out on spirituality itself. They might as well be wearing skinny jeans (which, I still wear by the way : ))!

The message kind of comes across like this,

“Uhhhh, HEELLLLoooooh? Why are you not stepping into the juicy flow of higher consciousness? Why on Earth would you exert any form of effort, when you could instead, tap into transcendental frequencies that will blissfully manifest everything you could possibly imagine in one simple download?!?”

Okay, guru – can I get real here… please… without you cutting-off my ties to spirituality?

Look, we all have motivating thoughts and debilitating doubts. Even you, guru. We all have the capacity to feel a full range of emotions – ranging from exhilaration, motivation and excitement, all the way to disappointment, frustration and worry. Depending on how much we feel and where we focus, some of our actions will be more productive than others. If we’re really playing life’s game and out there taking risks, then we can expect to feel challenged, and maybe even a little daunted at times.

There will be times when we’re just not seeing opportunities, and only obstacles. Sometimes it will take us hours to see the opportunity within our hardships, and other times weeks, months, heck – even years! Sometimes we’ll create our own problems, not because we’re feeding on them, but because we don’t always have a full range of perspective. This is especially true when we’re tackling something new. And, while sometimes we’ll feel like “not so enlightened” beings, the very acknowledgment and acceptance of this simple fact, seems foundational to our progress. Dare I say, even of the transcendental type ; ).

So, guru… why on Earth are YOU posing such a problem with our problems? Ahhh… the irony.

It always humors me how fast one’s “radical thinking” can come full circle. Look, whenever we find ourselves seeking a new path in life, it’s often due to the fact that we’re feeling painfully stuck. And, yes, right, wrong or indifferent, we experience these moments as massive hurdles to our wellbeing, and yes, let’s just call them “problems” – because like it or not, that’s an English word that we all understand.

Whether we perceive our circumstances as truly problematic, or just painful opportunities is beside the point. In the pure reckoning of our own discomfort and pain, it really doesn’t matter where it comes from – we just know it’s there. And, herein lies the real opportunity.

Despite what your guru says, feeling stuck is a natural part of life. It both is and isn’t a problem.

On the one hand, it can feel like a painful clamor to get out of a dark pit, and on the other hand, it almost always leads to notable transformation. 

So, guru, maybe it’s time for you to sit with your own thoughts, notice your own feelings, and ask why they are causing you to have so many problems with the mere existence of problems? Now that sounds like a REAL opportunity to step into the juicy flow of conscious expansion.

As for the rest of us?

Maybe it’s time to end our urges to spiritually bypass everyday life, and simply face, accept, and work within the bounty of our beautiful REALITY and absolutely everything it contains. We are SO lucky to exist, and there’s so much to make out of each and every experience. We are already spiritual beings having a human experience, and facing problems and exerting effort will never change our true nature.