Recently we heard a radio news item on the death of a woman who had campaigned for the right to die due to her medical condition and the suffering she was in. She said something like, “it is not that I want to die but I don’t want to live the life I am living.”
I would not comment on her experience or what she did and hold the thought that she did the very best she could given her circumstances; and I am certainly not saying I could have achieved what she did. But it did get me thinking about the phrase, ‘I don’t want to live the life I am living.’
Basically it feels like life is an obstacle course and our ability to be happy is like our attitude to the obstacles or challenges in our lives. It is essential that we meet and engage with the challenges that confront us. Many of our greatest challenges are not physical but emotional and we all seem to have our own unique set of challenges because we have all come to live our own purposes and that requires that we learn lessons that are directly related to that fulfilment.
Don’t compare your challenges to another’s and don’t judge others for their responses but be vigilant about your own. Often we try to sidestep them, adjust to them, be in denial of them, medicate them or simply run away. When we do this it is only a matter of time before we become a victim and get locked into our dependency.
The obstacle course that lies before each one of us is not random, it is not meaningless, it is the course we need to take to meet the challenges of our lives and to mould us to what we have promised to be in this life. As the Dalai Lama advises, never give up, and keep learning and keep applying ourselves to what faces us with courage, for courage is the greatest virtue as all other virtues are based on it.
The challenges of this life come from us, from our Higher Mind, from the Holy Spirit, from the Creator so that we may find our way back home.
The life we are living is the life we have given ourselves and the outcome will be based on how we have met our challenges. Naturally our lives are easier with friends and family. Many many years ago I worked in an outward bound school in South Africa and the obstacle course was awesome, in fact it was not possible to finish unless you worked together, a lesson many found hard to learn.
Maybe one of our New Year resolutions could be the choice to face all our challenges, that this year becomes a willingness to face what we are called to face with courage and friendship because it does seem the challenges are getting just a little bit bigger for all of us!
Jeff and Sue