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Shamanic Wisdom: Our Challenges Are Opportunities for Growth

Shamanic Wisdom: Our Challenges Are Opportunities for Growth Jan Engels-Smith

Being challenged in life is inevitable, being defeated is optional.
— Roger Crawford

On the road to enlightenment, the way is not always smooth, and it certainly is not effortless. How we view our challenges can determine whether or not we receive the full benefits that they offer. The universe is nonjudgmental and does not define for us the events of our lives as good or bad; that decision is ours alone. If we refuse the responsibility of our choices and assign the conditions to bad luck or the inevitability of failure, we have lost an opportunity for deeper understanding and a chance to enhance our appreciation for life.

Hiking a trail in the wilderness, we overcome obstacles and we receive the dual benefit of success in meeting the challenge and of having the opportunity to appreciate the beauty of a remote area. If our only focus was on the pain encountered during our hike and the irritation at the obstacles along the way, it is likely that the beauty of our destination would go unappreciated and we would be blind to the wonders that surround us. On the other hand, if we reveled in the accomplishments we enjoyed in proving our mettle on the trail and found the trek to be part of the great pleasure of the outing, we can be assured that the scene at our final destination will be more beautiful than we had ever imagined and our joy will be unbounded.

Such is the journey to enlightenment. Each challenge reveals to us who we really are and illuminates our existence so that we might know ourselves more fully and be more capable of growth and evolution.