However, every phase of life, no matter how difficult it may be, can be a significant experience and bring a gift, a lesson. Still, we must learn how to seek for it and allow ourselves to receive it.
Every time we face an unpleasant challenge, a desire is born within us and the longing to experience something bigger, better or different is elicited. This process allow us to realize the presence of a “contrast” between what we want and what we experience.
“Contrast” is a situation that is not in harmony with what we want. For example, our wallet is stolen with all our official identification documents on it or we missed a plane though we wanted urgently to get home because our child is sick. Or less serious conditions, such as: did not wake up on time for a business appointment or we forgot about it and let others waiting which looked unprofessional, we met an extremely rude employee at a store or found ourselves constantly stumbling at every door.
Whether in a light or a very serious situation, “contrast” plays a very specific role in life: It makes us notice the discrepancy between our inner desires and the outer reality we experience.
This mismatch creates a tension that is recorded in our body and mind, probably as a feeling of anxiety, frustration, impatience or dissatisfaction. Exactly at that point of emotional tension, our desires are generated and communicate with clarity to every cell of our body a strong signal, with the message: “I want something different!”, “I want more!”
THE PURPOSE OF NEGATIVE EXPERIENCES
Desire is a force that causes the simultaneous creation of 3 things:
1. It allows us to realize and feel with absolute clarity what is that we want
2. Mobilizes our minds and it begins to attract the resources -thoughts, ideas, conditions- that we need to fulfill this desire.
3. Reinforces our awareness that – at least at present – what we want is not part of our experience and thus supplies the energy for action.
Once you allow yourself to recognize what it is that you want, you will be unable to repress it, because the mere act of recognition begins to magnetize it.
Even if you never share your desire with anyone, a flow of new ideas, thoughts and capabilities will begin to sprout in response to the recognition of what you want, as powerful small seeds sown in your conscious.
Since we live in a universe created by opposing forces and governed by the law of polarity (black -white, full-empty, up –down etc.) the birth of desires, doubts and limiting beliefs will inevitably immerse. Emotions such as fear, despair, impatience, or confusion is an invaluable part of the creative process.
For what reason;
Because the conflicting emotions that present themselves in response to what you do not want make you focus on what you do want, produces greater clarity on what you want, help you recognize how strong is the desire and oblige you to make the internal and external changes needed to bring the results you seek. The ‘negative’ emotions like anger, resentment and indignation, when properly directed, dynamically accelerate your progress and incite you to action. And the truth is that people are more motivated when they are unhappy and experience an intense pain or discomfort than when they are happy. Have you ever had this experience?
ADVERSITY IS THE DRIVING FORCE BEHIND EVERY CHANGE
In the same way that “need is the mother of all inventions”, adversity is the driving force behind every change.
When there is disharmony between our inner desire and external situations, the inconsistency will create, in time, a turning point. A point where mentally, emotionally and energetically you simply cannot afford it anymore, and find the motivation to make those adjustments needed to bridge the gap between what you want and where you are.
Let’s take a real example. A few years ago, I was a Senior Director in a large multinational company. This job represented Corporate life at its peak: I had global responsibilities, I was appreciated by colleagues and clients, my team’s results were always on top, my salary was extraordinary and the opportunity to create value was present every day. What else could one ask? However, in a sudden company reorganization things changed. The contrast between what I had up to that moment and the new conditions was very intense. I no longer had control over my schedule, I had to travel four days a week, be in meetings where no decisions were taken, called to supervise the work of my team at a very superficial level, work on planes and spend real time with my children only every second weekend. Naturally, I was in a constant “contrast”, which created intense discomfort. I got overwhelmed with physical and mental exhaustion and face intense boredom as I was deprived from the opportunity to add real value. I lost gradually and unconsciously my interest on the job and my motivation.
As the months went by and I continued to experience this situation it began to form a new clear picture of what I really wanted my career to be: Being my own boss, controlling my own schedule, investing my talents and my time in a job where my every action would have an impact and would help to improve the quality of people lives, a task which would be in harmony with the desires of my soul and that will allow me to be available so as to support my children face the challenges of adolescence.
Had I not experienced so strongly “contrast” at that time, I may not have found the necessary momentum to make the leap to change. A change to launch myself into a new business area where I would be able to regain the experience of fulfillment, value-adding creation, contribution, progress and freedom that I needed.
THERE ARE ALWAYS OPPORTUNITIES IN LIFE
Countries in crisis, abusive bosses, quarrels between people, economic difficulties, a prolonged cold, changes in conditions and on our needs … these are all part of life, because life is polarity. What we must remember is that every time we come across an experience that is opposite to what we want, we are faced with a fundamental choice:
We can focus and complain about everything that annoy us, or we can use this experience – “contrast” – to clarify exactly what we want to build in its place.
Regardless of the situation, we always have alternatives in how we interpret and approach things. Namely we have at least nine options:
Join your hands crossing the thumbs in front of your heart, and with the palms facing you, let your fingers move freely. This ancient symbolism of a butterfly, will remind you that you are always free to fly in the direction you choose – each finger represents an alternative.
It is true that there are always alternatives, but it is also true that it is you who must take the decision to look for them. If you stay focused only on the “contrast” that exists in your life, not choosing to approach the situation in a more positive and productive way, you limit your ability to discern alternatives that can be found right in front of you. And when you do that, you feel even more trapped and attract even more difficulties.
When the situations surrounding you do not satisfy you, you must turn to the one thing you control completely, which is where you put your focus.
YOU HAVE THE POWER TO FULLFILL YOUR DESIRES
Only when you choose to abandon that which displeases you, you will be open to the life you desire. For example, only when you choose to abandon “lack” you are open to abundance. Focus on your current sufficiency with gratitude and on the abundance you want to create with excitement, and today’s feeling of lack will lose its gravity and will shrink.
Embrace everything that happens to you and follow these steps to support you with unpleasant events:
1. Investigate what you can learn from them.
2. Define what you want to experience instead.
3. Ask yourself what are your alternative paths to get where you want. Be as outrageous as you can! You are just brainstorming and triggering your mind. Search and find your options.
4. Choose one of the ideas and act consistently upon its realization.
These compose a simple strategy to address current difficulties and will lead you unerringly to broaden your perception and to orient your attention and energy to create a more attractive reality.