Cycles – Your Challenges
I was miserable, crying desperately, and my heart was breaking. I had just received a spanking for an infraction of one of my mother’s rules. But something about that one was different. In addition to the stinging pain, I felt a deep sorrow, hopeless, unable ever to be redeemed. I ran to my father who was sitting in his easy chair reading the paper, hoping he would rescue me from the frightening abyss on which I was teetering. He ignored me. At the age of 3 years I felt completely alone, stranded in a world that hated me.
This was a key experience in which I told myself I must be unworthy of love, understanding, or mercy. Otherwise, how could they treat me that way? At that age, of course, I could not verbalize the feeling but it was there, and it remained for years. Much later I learned this and similar experiences were the expression of my Main Challenge, the number 1.
Typically with this challenge, I blamed myself, assuming there must be something wrong with me. From then on for many years I believed my life was unimportant, and I spent a great deal of time taking a backseat to others, feeling lesser-than, without purpose, and ineffective.
Challenge experiences are wake-up calls from our souls urging us to clear the way toward a better life. As painful as these experiences are, I have come to understand that we choose them in order to resolve the emotional issues and mental blocks that are preventing us from living the successful lives we were born for.
It was hard for me to accept the idea that I had chosen mental and physical abuse to wake me up. Now I had to blame myself for being stupid instead of blaming the world for being mean. What made it easier to accept is figuring out that if I had actually chosen my challenges, I could also master them.
Even so, it wasn’t easy. Fear held me back, and facing my fears took all the courage I could muster. I had a lot of help. A year of psychotherapy helped me start looking inward for answers. Many years’ training in personal development, metaphysics, and psychology helped me heal my issues. I’m no longer afraid of my challenges because I no longer believe they mean something is wrong with me. They are just part of my schooling on Planet Earth.
By the way, it’s not necessary to spend years in psychotherapy to master your challenges. I still have issues come up, but now I have ways to quickly resolve them. If you look around you will find self-healing methods that work almost instantly. I’ll share some of them in a future blog post.
See if you can recognize some of your challenges in the following interpretations. It’s not easy to face your challenges – they’re called challenges for a reason. If you try out the idea that you chose them, you’ll see that you have the power to master them.
If you have this one, you are an old soul who has experienced all the other challenges, and now it’s time to be the executive of your own life. You don’t trust your own decisions, depending on others to make decisions for you. The only trouble is you’re never satisfied with what they choose, not to mention being led down the garden path.
Consult with others for their opinions, but make your own decisions from the ideas you’ve gathered. Make the leap. You’ll land on your feet. Think of this challenge as the final polishing of a beautiful gem.
This is the challenge of low self-worth, a lack of self-respect, putting yourself last. You are inwardly independent but assert yourself only if you are angry or through other dramatic means, like rejection. The people in your life who disapprove of you are there to teach you to stand up for yourself without stepping on other people’s toes.
It’s time to approve of yourself and let go of their opinions. Learn to love yourself exactly as you are and focus on your talents and abilities instead of your perceived faults. Find ways to learn forgiveness for yourself and others. Don’t depend on others; let them know they can depend on you.
You are excessively dependent on others, a pleaser, taking everything personally. You are a tender-hearted soul, sensitive to people’s feelings, and you want them to be happy. You tend to lose yourself in relationships by sacrificing your own wishes. You turn yourself inside out to make things right and end up suffering for it, then resenting the people you wanted to please.
Learn to please yourself first and ask for what you want. Others will not learn how to treat you well unless you teach them. Trust yourself. Appreciate yourself for who you are. You are not responsible for the happiness of others, and no fair comparing yourself to anyone else.
You are very creative, but you allow others to squelch your self expression. You find it almost impossible at times to let people know how you really feel. Sometimes you don’t even know how you really feel. It’s okay to have feelings, and it can be an adventure to look inside to see what’s there. You tend to take everything too seriously.
Allow yourself some fun. Get out with friends, meet new people, take lessons, join groups that interest you, allow your sense of humor to come out, entertain, and develop an optimistic outlook. Life is meant to be enjoyed. Be careful of spreading yourself too thin.
You have too much self-discipline or not enough. You may hide in carefully-constructed routines and systems to avoid contact with others or encountering bumps in the road of life. Or, you may be disorganized, careless, lazy, and undisciplined, or sometimes one extreme and sometimes the other. Your challenge is to learn to enjoy working consistently toward a goal without making it into drudgery.
You need structure in your life, and you need to learn to be flexible within that structure. You need goals to strive for. Pay attention to detail, be patient, be on time, let go of worry, and create systems that keep drudgery to a minimum. Instead of trying to force results, learn to allow things to unfold naturally.
This is the challenge of freedom at any price. You tend to be stubborn when you believe your freedom is being restricted, daring others to tell you what to do so you can show them you will do the opposite, whether you want to or not. You don’t want to be tied down, you are casual about responsibility, you use excess as an escape, and you tend to be impulsive. Your challenge is to learn what freedom really is; acting in alignment with your soul’s wisdom.
Learn to let go of the old and welcome new ways and ideas. Trying to lug old ideas, habits, grudges, etc., around is like dragging an anvil behind you wherever you go. As you begin to live in alignment with your spirit, you will experience the satisfaction of happiness with who you are and what you are doing.
You have many rules and a rigid sense of right and wrong. You have the ability to help people, but you go overboard and try to control everyone, doing for them what they can do for themselves. Self-righteousness is another stumbling block for you – judging others, then giving advice (whether they want it or not) that will “fix” them and getting mad when they don’t follow it.
Learn to respect the opinions of others whether you agree with them or not. True service is helping people empower themselves to be who they are, not who you think they should be.
You are challenged to find the truth behind the illusion; get the facts instead of assuming. When you are discontented with what’s going on around you, you complain and criticize instead of helping to find solutions. You tend to be moody, withdrawn, and depressed when things don’t go your way. You try to present a false image of yourself that you think others will admire. This cuts you off from yourself and others, and you feel empty inside.
Learn to have faith in yourself and focus on your positive qualities. Look within for answers and allow your intuition to blossom. Make time alone each day to quiet the static in your mind. Irritability and depression can be aggravated by poor nutrition, so take good care of yourself. Get out in nature and let her soothe your soul. Be honest with yourself and keep your feet on the ground.
As in number 4, there are two extremes to this challenge. You may recognize both in yourself. It is the challenge of the balance of power. You need to learn the material and spiritual sides of power and money and bring them into balance.
Even if you are financially well off, you lack confidence in yourself. No matter how much money, power, or material possessions you have, it is not enough. You tend to judge yourself and others by the number of toys you/they have; the more you have, the better you are. You are constantly in competition with others to prove your superiority.
On the other hand, you may lack financial security because you avoid handling money and material matters due to poor judgment and lack of confidence. You need to learn to manage your personal and business affairs effectively. Develop the qualities of organization, good judgment, leadership, and thoroughness. Delegate opportunity, not responsibility, and learn the difference between the two.
The number 9 does not appear as a challenge.
There are two secrets contained in your Challenges. One is that they are the choices you have made in your infinite wisdom to help you become master of your life. The other is that there is nothing wrong with you. Good news! You have the opportunity of seeing your Challenges as the mother lode of information that can set you free.
As painful and difficult as they may be, if you face your Challenges and resolve them you will experience more peace and freedom in your life with each lesson. They are part of the curriculum you have created for learning how to live the life you dream of. Congratulations!