“The strongest oak tree in the forest,” wrote Napoleon Hill, “is not the one that is protected from the storm and hidden from the sun. It’s the one that stands in the open where it is compelled to struggle for its existence against the winds and rains and the scorching sun.”
Likewise, singer and civil rights activist Bernice Johnson Reagon reminds us that “life’s challenges are not supposed to paralyze you, they’re supposed to help you discover who you are.”
Words like these have the potential to lift us up, especially when the challenges of life press down on you, as they so often do. They can help you see beyond any problem or suffering you may be experiencing right now. They offer the promise that trying times exist not to weaken you and tear you down. Rather, they exist to strengthen you and build you up.
It’s been said that we don’t always get what we want in life, but we always get what we need. I believe that. I believe the Universe is always calling you higher; always asking you to be bigger. It constantly presents you with challenges and obstacles that can help you grow, learn and make manifest the Divine spark that lies within you.
Whatever challenge you find yourself dealing with today, I invite you to open your heart and mind to this idea. I invite you to look at your current problem not as a jailor, not as an oppressor, but instead as a teacher. See it as a guide pointing you in the direction of your greatest good and your highest potential.
I’ll leave you with the words of Helen Keller, who wrote, “character cannot be developed in ease and quiet. Only through experience of trial and suffering can the soul be strengthened, ambition inspired, and success achieved.”