Gifts From The Universe

No, you can’t always get what you want...
But if you try sometime, you just might find
You get what you need!

— Rolling Stones

What if many or all of life's obstacles or challenges are placed before us to help us grow and learn--a gift, if you will? When I consider the difficult people or circumstances in my own life--the complicated feelings and emotions that are ignited in me, triggers that I didn't even know existed, I always find that I learn something important about myself. What I choose to do with the information or lesson is a different matter. Life can be messy; the love, the hate, the range between the two extremes, so much confusion, conflict and ambivalence--it's no wonder that it can feel safer to hide and protect yourself, rather than face vulnerability, pain and uncertainty. As protective as this may feel, it keeps your life small, and the many potential opportunities to grow unmet. We are taught that dark feelings and emotions are bad, and that shadow parts of us should be suppressed or disavowed. This is never an effective strategy because it doesn't actually work. Shadow aspects remain, and fester; they will most certainly find their way to the surface in some other form. Embrace the range of your emotions, this will help you feel "whole" and lead a fuller and more authentic life.