WASHINGTON — When I find myself faced with life’s obstacles, I remind myself; if you can confront it, you can overcome it. Internally, I welcome these two concurrent actions. If life has taught me anything so far, it’s that there will always be new obstacles awaiting us. No matter what stage in our lives we are in, what we’ve accomplished, or how much we’re revered by others, there will always be new obstacles.
With every new level you reach, new devils await. They are zealously anticipating your arrival because they’ve seen many before you who have entered this realm, clinging to their altruistic thoughts and ideas of how things should be.
Time and again, these theories get shattered like a baseball being thrown through a neighbor’s living room window.
We can choose to either confront or ignore life’s curveballs. But as children, someone has to pay for that window, and likely it will be your parents. They will make you confess to your offenses and apologize.
They do this for a few reasons; to build accountability & responsibility, to teach you how to navigate through uncomfortable situations, and to build character. But as we grow older, it becomes incumbent upon ourselves to address many situations independently. This is why it’s critical that our parents impart such wisdom on us when we are young, to ensure it’s imprinted into our brains for for the future.
Parents provided us with security and shelter, and (hopefully) a framework for behavior that kept us in line. Looking back, we appreciate all they did because it pushed us to become decent human beings. Well, I’d like to hope that if you’re reading this, it’s because you are one of those decent people.
Ultimately, we reach a point in our lives where we have to hold ourselves accountable and responsible for our own thoughts, happiness, & progression. We have to accept that life obstacles bring discomfort and understand that it’s important to cultivate a healthy approach to these problems because this won’t be the last time we find ourselves in this space. If we approach each challenge constructively, subsequent challenges won’t appear as substantial.
If our character is defined by the mental and moral qualities exclusive to each individual, is supposed to align with who we aspire to be during our lifetime, it’s imperative that we learn to confront our demons, face obstacles head-on, and know that the hardships are temporary.
As adults, we’re not paying money for a broken window, but we are paying with something. There is always a price to pay. Payment comes in different forms;
Sacrifice – where we prevent ourselves from blossoming into who we are destined to be. If we don’t blossom into who we are destined to be, we won’t take advantages of opportunities the universe presents us, that gives us the platform to set the world on fire with our passion. And if we let opportunity pass us by, we will never experience true fulfillment because we know that deep down in our hearts, we settled for comfort.
Nothing is free. It costs to confront pain but it may cost more to ignore it. The famous philosopher, Friedrich Nietzsche said, “The value of a thing lies not in what one attains with it, but in what one pays for it, what it costs them.” We can choose to stay as sheltered as a seed that never breaks its container, but we have to ask ourselves if that is how we want to be defined. Is that truly what we want to pay for?
If we are going to confront anything difficult, we must first identify what is blocking us.
More times than not, fear is what is holds us back. The idea of doing something is a thousand times worse than actually doing it. Once we can identify the fear, we must question its validity. Assessing validity is critical because if we’re asking ourselves the right questions, we will ignite strong feelings…and that’s ok. If the questions we’re asking aren’t disrupting our “cool,” then we’re doing ourselves a disservice.
This is where we have to be completely honest about whether or not we want this breakthrough…because if we do, then we are going to continue on this path of unveiling which eventually will lead to the root. Unless we can get to the root of a problem, we’ll never be able to solve it in a meaningful, lasting way.
Even though I have felt naked and vulnerable employing this approach at times, nothing compares to the empowerment achieved by seizing control of an area of my life. From there, each confrontation that follows becomes easier as my confidence grows. They are then fueled by real-life testimony that reinforces my beliefs. And this begins a self-fulfilling prophecy.
This all stems from a power we all possess – the power of choice. When we choose to confront life’s tribulations, we give ourselves a chance to overcome them. When we don’t, we’re accepting an idle role. Every time we do this, we do it at the expense of our destiny.
Who we are and what we become will be a direct reflection of our choices.
Let’s choose to confront and overcome!
Carlton Mack is a dedicated father,
passionate student of life, and author of
Attributes of Man and Redemption.