As we each continue along the journey we call life, sometimes the path changes without warning. I don’t know about anyone else, but it’s those times that I sometimes wonder if I have become a drama queen who seeks excitement. Maybe it’s just a temporary rut. What if it’s something else: an opportunity to discover unbeknownst treasures that we could have sped by on what we thought was the correct path?
For me, the month of September brought serious changes in my living situation and my close relationships. A chapter of my life ended, and I remember starting the month in anguish over the changes. I soldiered through the changes, examined the emotions that arose (including fury, despair, and relief, among others), and completed the changes. From the exterior, my life has changed in texture and in quality. I could continue to be furious and despairing at the circumstances, but what purpose would that serve? The Creator put us here to be happy and to grow spiritually.
I am a firm believer that the reverse side of every negative situation is a priceless treasure. For every heartbreak comes strength, insight, and previously unknown support. The changed housing situation showed me increased resilience, flexibility, and capacity for peacemaking. I also learned yet more compassion, determination, and strength. These are the hidden treasures that would have remained overlooked without the course change.
Maybe that’s why the path of life is never shown to us in advance. If we knew all the joys and pains in advance, we would certainly seek the parts of personal adventure that only led to joy. I don’t know anyone who would deliberately choose painful experiences. However, the pain we experience allows us to appreciate more fully the joyful experiences. Growth is sometimes painful and unsettling, because it means exchanging a familiar setting for something altogether new, which can strike fear into the strongest person.
I believe that our attitude is what allows us to grow through unsettling changes. A willingness to seek the hidden treasures in any situation is what makes the difference between joy and misery. Belief that treasure exists even in the bleakest time is the most important element of any experience.
As I see more changes approaching in my future, the month of September brought experiences that allowed me to discover the tools that I will need to face upcoming challenges. An increased belief in my own discernment and trust in other people are perhaps the most valuable lessons I could have learned. I wish that I could teach these lessons to other people, but such personal growth-related lessons only come with experience.