Losses, tough breaks, failure, sorrow, grief and sadness are all part of this human experience. And though we may not be able to control what are often the hardest circumstances in our life, we can control how we relate to them.
One option is to contract. To be brittle. To slump. To shrink. To plod your way forward. Get through it.
Or. Stretch yourself. Forge new tools. Expand your capacity for life. Grow through it.
The truth is that every challenge in your life is an opportunity for growth. Every hardship. Every heartbreak. Every uphill battle. Every burden. Every stressor. Every misfortune, every tragedy, every trauma, every unhappiness…
All are calls for expansion. Invitations to expand your capacity. For grace. For resilience. For gratitude. For compassion. For understanding. For life.
Yes, it can feel like a stretch. And that’s exactly what it is. A big stretch. As writer and spiritual teacher Alan Cohen puts it, “Challenge is the universe’s way of showing us that we are bigger than we thought we were.”
Think about it. The greatest periods of growth in your life were probably garnered from challenging experiences. Challenge stretches you (if you’re flexible and willing) into the next version of yourself. Your higher self. Your bigger self.
So rather than buckling under the weight of your hardships, how can you rise up and meet them? How can you show up for what life is asking of you? How can you be courageous? How can you spiral outward and explore the edges of your capacity? How can you remember just how big and capable you really are? How can you grow through challenge rather than just going through it? How can you ace this assignment in the curriculum of your life?
And if you’re wondering "why bother?" Your contraction serves no one. Your expansion serves the world. A more compassionate, more humble, more grateful, more resilient human is a gift to us all.
So remember...when shit hits the fan it's a call to expand. Heed the call. Be courageous. Be flexible. Be willing. Show up. Rise up. Stretch. Shine.
Don’t just get through life. Grow through it.