Obstacles to Achieving Peace
Obstacles to Achieving Peace and How to Overcome Them
Is it just me, or has anybody else noticed that as soon as you commit to something you are quickly tested on your resolve? It was only recently that I made a firm commitment toward achieving peace in my life regardless of obstacles. As soon as this commitment was fixed firmly within me, things around me appeared to start falling apart. What sorts of things? People, situations, meetings, appliances, you name it. For example, I had been planning a trip to Big Bear, CA for some time for a writing retreat. The day before I left on my trip, my dryer stopped working. Now, living in a desert climate, this is not usually a problem because it’s most often hot and dry. Against all odds however, the heat wave broke the day the dryer gave out and cool moist weather moved in making it impossible to dry clothes outside in a timely manner. Once that problem was addressed, I redoubled my resolve for peace and POOF; off I was pushed into another series of issues.
Upon arriving to Big Bear I noticed a strange smell in the cabin. I quickly figured out that the refrigerator had ceased working sometime in the previous two months and that frozen meats (amongst other items) had thawed and leaked inside; I felt like a crime scene investigator. Dark red blood from the meat had congealed and mixed with fuzzy green fruit mold. This repulsive combination of fetid filth caused an acrid stench and a gruesome spectacle that both affronted my senses and made it impossible to write in peace. So, instead of getting right down to business, I spent the next hour cleaning the fridge and taking the rotten/moldy items to the dump.
Now, on one hand, these situations could be frustrating to the point of giving up right? If everything falls down around you, you may figure that “it just wasn’t meant to be.” That would be a “logical” conclusion because it follows a pattern. If you resolve to do “A,” and “B” happens each time, then you may logically assume “A” is the direct cause of “B.” Therefore, you may decide to quit chasing “A” in hopes that “B” will diminish. That is how most of us would view these types of situation. Try, struggle and give up. However, there was something even more subtle at play here that was calling for my undivided attention.
What if, instead of the universe trying to distract me from my goal, it was actually putting into motion those things which need to happen for me to meet my goal? Here I am meditating and asking to achieve an advanced sense of peace regardless of life’s situations (and to summarize my research and experience into a book) and right away things start changing around me. In this case, if I started resisting the change (“B”), I would end up never achieving (“A”), right? So, the only answer is to view these challenges without label or judgment and practice my sense of peace while dealing with these additional “situations.” Maybe my sense of peace can ONLY grow through having more issues to deal with. How? Well, it’s great preparation. If my goal is to be able handle difficult situations with complete ease and grace, then I probably need more practice. Ah-ha! Doesn’t that seem like a more likely scenario? Or at least a more productive way of looking at things? If you were to pray to a higher power for more tolerance for example, doesn’t it make sense that your “problems” would have to increase so that you may gain more experience dealing with your anxieties? For, at that point, the only options are to quit and remain the same or to give up all preconceived notions of what a “problem” is and to handle each situation with poise and confidence. I am resolved to choose the latter and I will continue to attain my personal peace by focusing on what can be addressed within me via meditation and relaxation techniques. Which will YOU decide?