When we look out at the world, we see situations everywhere that appear to be broken and need fixing. What would happen if we could befriend problems and life crises as opportunities for growth instead?

There is an active intersection between our own psychological/spiritual health and the actual landscape of our life. What happens in the collective does impact us as individuals; likewise, what we do as individuals has an impact on the collective.

The way we address crises and problems has a rippling effect for better or for worse into the larger world. It offers us opportunities for positive change and personal growth. Author Tom Atlee calls crisis “the dangerous breaking of glass that opens locked windows of opportunity that require perceptiveness and courage to move through with care.”

It has been said that evolution, like water behind a dam, knows where all the cracks are, and is working on them right now with increasing intensity.

Could it be that something new is trying to happen, seeking the transformation of the whole in life? Might our out-of-balance world be an opportunity for increased spiritual consciousness seeking to awaken the values of the heart – compassion, generosity, forgiveness, and a desire to live in harmony with others?

I propose that the only way forward through times of crisis, upheaval and difficulty is to befriend our problems as the messengers that they are: highlighting the empty, loveless or meaningless places in our life that thirst for something meaningful and real.

To anxiously hold to the way things were – wanting no disruption in our lives – is to avoid evolving because our individual status quo is really closely tied to the larger malaise on the planet.

I remember being surprised years ago when I read Care of the Soul by Thomas Moore. One of the chapters he titled “The Gift of Depression.” I had to think about that.

What if we learned to cope with adversity more effectively? Rather than failing to notice the opportunities that adversity offers, we could see the problem and the solution as two sides of the same coin. To get to the other side, we often are called to walk thru turbulence we would rather have avoided. But denial disempowers, whereas facing our problems empowers us to take meaningful action!

In fact, today’s heartache may well carry the seeds of tomorrow’s happiness. What would happen if the hatching chick decided that it is too much effort to peck through the shell that encases it?

Who would you be today if it weren’t for your struggles? Think back. Wasn’t there a jewel of awareness and growth offered in almost every tribulation?

It is the decisions you’ve made at each challenging point in your life that determined where you are today.

When we treat each obstacle on our path as a unique opportunity for growth, we start asking different questions.  We stop asking “Why this?” Why me?” and “Why now?” Instead, we start asking how we can navigate through the challenge, what we need to learn or do, and we accept responsibility for our part in the unfolding journey of our lives.

We befriend obstacles as messengers for deepening our faith and we dig deep to discover hidden gifts and abilities we never knew we had. We start looking for what we can do with the resources we have right now – an empowering place from where we can learn, evolve and become the powerful beings we were created to be.

In fact, I believe that when we connect to the true potential within us, we also find there the ability to help restore love, hope and unity to the wider world around us.

We could, as Tom Atlee suggests, “use our differences and our challenges creatively, not simply as problems to avoid or solve, but as signs of new life pushing to emerge – and as invitations into a new, more whole tomorrow.”

Responding appropriately to this invitation is of the utmost importance in our changing world. The waves of change that sweep through all layers of life like a tsunami, carry seeds of opportunity.

By viewing problems as opportunities into a “not-yet-known” future, instead of fearing the unknown, we can move forward gracefully.

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©Copyright Ada Porat. For more information, visit http://adaporat.com. This article may be freely distributed in whole or in part, provided there is no charge for it and this notice is attached.