Have you ever had something go terribly wrong in your life? You find yourself in a senseless argument. You feel shattered from the loss of someone close to you. Or you lose a job you desperately wanted. Did you know that such bad situations are also how life speaks to us, blesses us, and pushes us towards our life purpose? Let me give you an example.
I’ve been working on what should have been a simple article for Good News Toronto. The article features Alicia Vianga, the founder of the After Breast Cancer charity and the Premier Jour Fine Lingerie and Swimwear boutique.
The interview opened up my life, in a way I could never have predicted. Due to the stroke and my subsequent disability, I am unable to drive. As a result, I felt I had to do the interview from home, using Skype. Perhaps more importantly, the thought of travelling alone for 2 ½ hours by public transportation to do a face-to-face interview, paralysed me with unconscionable fear.
Shockingly, the Skype interview also seemed paralysing; though it began well. Alicia said that when she initially came to Canada, she was a live-in nanny. I asked her, “What were the obstacles that stood in your way of getting where you are today?”
She responded, “me;” that is, she thought that no one would hire her to do anything more than clean houses.
I questionably responded. “That’s not it. That’s not what I am looking for.” I was thinking that the obstacle had to be something like breast cancer. However, she had no such painful health challenge.
Not yet aware of what was going on, I asked the same question several times. With increasing frustration, Alicia gave me the same answer, while trying to be as tolerable as possible.
The problem was that even though I was listening to her; I couldn’t hear her. I was hearing the thoughts in my head that said I needed to go and see her.
We tried the interview by Skype again, but I still couldn’t get what I thought I needed; and the frustration continued. Interestingly enough, both Alicia and I knew that this was not about writing an article.
It was not long before I just stopped. I then could see that my irrational fear of taking public transportation by myself was getting in my way. I knew that a breakthrough was being called for. So I reluctantly planned the trip to Alicia’s boutique, which required travel by bus, subway, and street car. I got myself ready to take the long trip by myself for the first time, since the stroke 7 years ago.
I boarded the bus, the train and the street car for what turned out to be a peaceful, sometimes eye-opening trip, to Alicia’s boutique. She was a beautiful and insightful person, who I was blessed to meet. As a result of that trip, my limiting world of stroke, anxiety and disability subsided, and invited greater freedom into my future.
I was reminded that we sometimes have to stop and listen before we can hear that our problems may also be our blessings. Do you have a problem in your life that may just be your blessing? Stop! Listen and hear. What good is your life offering you?