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Self Care

Embracing Life’s Hardships

By Jennifer Garza

No one wants hardship. As human beings, we try to avoid it at all costs. We stuff our feelings down with food, alcohol, relationships, shopping – all in an effort not to feel pain. But pain is often a gift. When it’s not a gift, it’s something we are choosing to inflict upon ourselves – and realizing that is also a gift.

In the middle of a crisis, we often feel like we’re drowning and we do anything to keep our head above water. But if we realize we’ve chosen to go through experiences to learn on a soul level, we can begin to welcome lessons instead of running from them.

Neale Donald Walsh wrote a beautiful children’s poem entitled “The Little Soul and the Sun.” It’s about a soul who realizes it is the light and knows who it is, but wants more – wants to be who it is – which only occurs through experiencing life in the physical world. God tells the little soul it will be immersed in darkness – for we can’t experience the light without the dark. The little soul tells God it wants to experience what forgiving is like.
Another soul steps forward and says: “Not to worry, Little Soul, I will help you,” and volunteers to do something to the little soul in its next lifetime so he can learn to forgive. “I will do something terrible, and then you can experience yourself as the One Who Forgives.” The little soul says, “But why? Why would you do that?” And the other soul replies, “I would do it because I love you.”

Have you noticed patterns within your life? Have you struggled with a particular issue for years? Have you repeated relationship patterns over and over? There is a reason – and it doesn’t have anything to do with the externals. It’s not that life keeps throwing you curve balls you cannot control, or you keep encountering manipulative partners. The issue lies within yourself – on a soul level. It always does.

The key to breaking the pattern is looking deep to discover what it is that you are doing that keeps you locked within this pattern. You can’t blame another person in a relationship for abusing your rights because you are choosing to stay. You cannot blame fast food restaurants for serving food that makes you gain weight because you are choosing to consume it.

The questions to ask yourself with any hardship is: Why? What am I afraid of? What does this person, food, item or addiction give me? What is it that I’m not facing? The patterns keep occurring because the lesson is re-emerging to give you an opportunity to experience “Who You Are.” Did you travel here to learn humility, forgiveness, or to stand up for yourself?

You will continue to be challenged in these areas until you become humble, learn to forgive, or stand up for yourself. You can embrace the lesson and move on or continue the pattern of hardship. The wonderful part about it is that you have a choice!

Jennifer Garza, M.S., has a master of science in counseling and psychology. She is a former therapist and has taught life enhancement classes at venues including college campuses, state conferences and prisons. She is the author of the inspiration journal “365 Days to Happiness: Use Your Strengths, Thoughts, and Dreams to Manifest a New Life.” Garza has been featured in Natural Health magazine, AOL, BusinessInsider.com, Young Entrepreneur.com, and on FTNS radio. Visit her website at www.authorjennifergarza.com or connect with her. 


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