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A Daily Meditation on Obstacles

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The journey through life has many valleys that we can’t
just skip over, and also many mountains to climb that
we can’t just jump over. It is also true that we need
the space and the freedom to make our own mistakes.
Trial and error seem to be the only way we
can learn and grow. Life is first and foremost a process.
And this process is a zig-zag process at that. (John Powell)

As we grow up, some well meaning, but misguided adults try to teach us that one of the goals of life is to avoid pitfalls, to make as few mistakes as possible, to try to make our lives as smooth and as trouble-free as possible. If these people were successful in teaching us these things, I think that most of us would lead very dull lives of very little learning, and that would be a shame.
The people who tend to thrive in life are those who realize that life is going to throw us some curve balls and that we’re going to make mistakes as we go along–many of them dreadful mistakes with unpleasant consequences. Trial and error lead to learning, but if we avoid the trial and error part, just how much can we expect to learn about our own abilities and limitations?
Many people become disillusioned because they expect life to be a smooth ride with very few bumps. Their disillusionment is one of the hardest things that they have to deal with, and I’m sure it makes it difficult for them to see their lives clearly.
Once we accept the fact that our journeys through life are going to be full of speed bumps and detours and other obstacles and trials, we can start to love those things for what they are–probably the best teachers we can get while we’re here on this planet. I’ve had my share of them, and I know that I’m a better, stronger, wiser person for having passed through the obstacles than I ever would have become if I had been able to avoid them all. n