“I am grateful for all my problems. After each one was overcome, I became stronger and more able to meet those that were still to come. I grew in all my difficulties.” — J. C. Penney
When problems loom large over the horizon, the most difficult words to speak are: “Thank you, God, for this gift.” Problems have an uncanny knack of creating vacuums that suck you in, and as you spiral downwards uncontrollably, you seem to be able to call forth energy only enough to ‘blame’. The strength required for admission of responsibility just cannot be summoned to the fore. And this ‘weakness’ on our part strengthens the ‘vacuum’ of the problem.
Yes, I can hear you, as you say, “I know this, but cannot hold on to this knowledge when a problem faces me.” First of all, dearest, know that you are not the only one to feel this. You are not the ‘weakling’ you consider yourself to be, each time you stumble under the weight of a problem. The truth is that within each of us breathes Atlas who valiantly holds up the world, but living very close by is Achilles who is never allowed to forget his one area of weakness.
Let us learn to live with both aspects of ourselves, for how can you applaud Atlas, if you are ever absorbed in deriding Achilles? This is the very first step you have to take if you truly wish to be in gratitude for your problems, because you Know that with every problem has come your growth.
Problems leave you no option but to see the bigger picture, and it is in this expansion of vision that your redemption lies. It is with this expansion that you stop playing the martyr, the victim, the rescuer, the saviour, for the realisation dawns upon you that it is only in the experience of Inner Power and Authority that you can truly help self and others.
Problems arise because we are constantly chasing our own personal ‘rainbows’; rainbows that are, in the first place, creations of our own lack. We chase money and possessions, because we lack the feeling of security in knowing who we are; we chase love and relationships because in our deep-seated ‘guilt’ and shame’ lies the inability to be comfortable with self. We desperately seek acceptance and a public affirmation of our ‘goodness’ because our belief of self is ‘apologetic’ at best, thus placing upon our already over-burdened shoulders the load of appearances and political correctness, and living up to expectations. When an external breeze scatters our very tentative rainbows, we face our ‘problems’.
This breeze sometimes has the ability to cause an emotional tornado which threatens to obliterate our illusions, and thus causes panic to arise within us. To battle this we have to accept that Achilles within us may falter and fall under the initial impact. If at this stage you get caught in the aimless activity of self-negation and self-contempt, you will not be able to move on to the bigger picture.
When your insides tremble, and fear and pain drains your life-force, honour your feelings and do not attempt to negate them, trivialise them, or escape from them. Acknowledge the fear and pain, and ask Divine Vision to help you see which of your rainbows have been scattered by the force of this wind. When your inner sight is led to the answer, call upon Atlas within to address these areas of lack that have been brought before you for resolution. And in this is the ‘gift’ you thank God for. Yes, my tired and spent friend, the end of your problems is very close at hand after this. As soon as
your perception shifts to ‘gift’, the life-force pours into you as the whole Universe commends you for this moment of Divine Strength. With this renewed vigour and fresh vision, you stop chasing the illusory rainbow, but are in true pursuit of fulfillment that only You are responsible for.
Then even in the absence of money, you are abundant; having no one to love you, you are in love with self; when all around see you asthe proverbial black sheep, you know you are the lamb that the Gentle Shepherd loves the most. When you are willing to live joyously within, even though the winds of conflict blowall around, the Divine Hand of Inner Power will bring to you the gifts of the external world, because you have already accepted and transmuted the true ‘gifts’ of Divinity…your problems.
Imagine, for a moment, that you are the Angel of God who has been asked to mete out problems to humanity, keeping in mind that the strength of the problems is always equal to the strength of the person who faces them. Ah!! I can see you smile…yes, dearest friend. Keep smiling. Revel in this moment of self-honour, for the Angels have found you worthy and strong, and have given you their very special gift… your problems.