FENSKE: Life’s challenges are our best teachers | PostIndependent.com

FENSKE: Life’s challenges are our best teachers

Catherine Fenske
Free Press Health Columnist
Catherine Fenske
Staff Photo |

“What good is the warmth of summer, without the cold of winter to give it sweetness?”

— John Steinbeck

As I sat in the foothills of Boulder surrounded by lush green valleys, the scent of towering pine trees and majestic snow-capped mountains within view, I was reminded of the contrast of just a few days earlier in the drought-stricken desert of Northern New Mexico. Although exquisite in its own stark beauty and mystery, the difference was palpable. Contrast is what gives our experiences meaning.

Without the night we wouldn’t experience the day, without weakness we cannot experience strength, without knowing unhappiness we probably wouldn’t experience happiness, without some conflict we will not experience the total feeling of peace. Contrast is a necessary ingredient in the soup of life here on earth.

Many of us strive for the feeling of peace. In fact, peace is the true goal of life. If every human on this planet earth could attain peace within, there would be no more war, no more violence, and no more pain. And yet to get to that place of peace within we have to experience the contrasts on our human journey.

The contrasts are many and varied along our walk in life. They can be in the form of worry, doubt, fear, confusion, anger, loss, low lows and lack to name just a few. Without life’s challenges we wouldn’t be able to enjoy when the waters of life are smooth sailing and flowing. If everything were perfect all the time, we would never attain the goal of perfect peace because we would have nothing to compare it to.

Just as without the night we wouldn’t be aware of the daytime, without a little darkness now and again we wouldn’t be aware of the light in our lives. Sometimes this is a hard pill to swallow. None of us want darkness in our lives. Most of us prefer to live in the light. If you think about it, however, some of our best teachers are those times we spend in darkness. Those are the times, if we use them wisely, that can be when our soul’s growth takes place, where our spirit can soar if we allow it and hold space for it.

If we appreciate the moments of darker, lower frequencies and see the opportunities presented in them, they can provide for a great expansion of our consciousness. We can work with those moments and play with them until we find the purpose for their being in our realm of experience. Those moments are usually letting us know what we don’t want in our lives and motivating us to reach for what we do want.

The contrasts in our lives are the motivators for our desires. When we become aware of what we don’t want to experience by way of the darker experiences or feelings, we hone our desire(s) to what we do want. Contrast pulls us toward the light. Without it we wouldn’t taste or feel the sweetness of life; we wouldn’t attain or maintain a peaceful state of inner being.

This week, I challenge you to pay attention to the contrasts in each day. What are they pulling you toward? Are you aware of the opportunities they are offering you? Feel the sweetness of the warmth of the summer coming on and be grateful for the cold of winter, for it brought you the awareness of warmth and light.

Catherine Fenske is the owner of Live With Intention Coaching. She is spiritual counselor/teacher, certified life coach, Reiki master/teacher. Catherine can be reached at 505-795-7779 or email at catherine@livewithintentioncoaching.com. Visit http://www.livewithintentioncoaching.com or her blog at http://fromblocked2bliss.wordpress.com.

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