“Believe in yourself and all that you are. Know that there is something inside you that is greater than any obstacle.”
— Christian D. Larson
Have you recently been thrown off course by something in your path? If you answered yes, you can join the rest of us! We have all been there. We truly are in the same boat when it comes to traveling our life’s path. As you know, it is not a straight and narrow road. The individual paths we are on have many twists and turns that are meant to be wide and forgiving.
No path is complete without obstacles, of course! They present themselves to us throughout our travels, often at the most inopportune times. Obstacles can be something as simple as a traffic jam, as significant as life-altering news, as intangible as a fear or insecurity, and as subtle as a small but irritating “something in our shoe.”
Whatever the case may be, big or small, an obstacle is an unexpected stopping point on our journey. It temporarily or permanently takes us off course. When we encounter an obstacle, we have one of four choices to make: go around it, go through it, go over it, or go back the way we came.
If we have a destination or goal in mind, going back the way we came hardly seems like a good choice, right? Yet this is the choice many people make, because moving forward often seems like too much effort; they are too afraid of the unknown. Depending on the circumstances, maybe it is really a sign that there is another destination life has planned for us. But, on the other hand, maybe it is well worth the effort to move past the fear and believe in our ability to “weather the storm” that is blocking our way.
I offer these four questions to ask yourself the next time you are faced with an obstacle as an aid to help you get back on your path or to discover if there is something even more important for you to do:
- Can I go around it? This means finding a way to avoid the block, sidestepping whatever is in your way and moving forward in spite of it. You know the destination is worth your effort and whatever is stopping you may just be there to strengthen your faith in the belief that you are not alone, you are connected within, and you have the power to keep on moving toward your greatness.
- Can I go through it? This means finding a way to transform the obstacle into something you can easily pass through. This will take additional effort and patience as you become aware and get familiar with the obstacle and work through whatever life is presenting to you at this time.
- Can I go over it? This means finding a way to use the obstacle as a stepping-stone to bring you closer to your destination. Discovering a way to get over something that looks to be insurmountable takes some creativity and ingenuity, and with patience and guidance from your heart within, you just may see that what looked like an obstacle is actually an opportunity that furthers you along your path.
- Should I go back? This means acknowledging that the obstacle serves a purpose, possibly showing you that there is a different path life has in store for you to follow. This is your opportunity to take a close look at where you are headed, listen closely to your voice within, and decide if starting over from a new vantage point is more in alignment with what you want to do with your life.
If you are experiencing a block in your forward movement or if you feel out of sorts and off course, ask yourself these four questions. Sit with yourself in meditation and listen to the answers that are deep within your heart. Little by little, you will know what actions to take, having faith in your ability to stay true to yourself and your life purpose, no matter what obstacles life places on your path.