the gift within

Last week I pondered the following from Michael Bernard Beckwith:

Many people believe that a challenge-free life is a happy life. Not so. Life with its challenges stimulates our growth and development.  Looking back over your life, you will have to admit that your spiritual growth was accelerated when you faced some suffering or pain that brought you to your wit’s end.

Challenges reveal our blind spots, the places where we are still not practicing trust, and habitual thoughts of lack, limitation, doubt, and other negativity.  Challenges bring gifts.

The suffering caused by your negative thinking motivates you to outgrow it. Being alive means welcoming the next challenge because you have discovered how this activates a higher vision in you for what is possible.

Transcending your resistance to challenges is spiritually liberating.  When you contemplate the challenges in your life, as yourself this powerful question:

“What gift within me is seeking to emerge?”

Last month I spent many hours contemplating the path that I have been on for 9 years professionally.  Reflecting on the challenges I faced while being on the Autism team.  The balance of frustration and success.  Learning and expanding my knowledge. Recalling in my heart  the many students that have blessed me.  Inspired me.  Challenged me.  The hundreds of stories and experiences that I got to witness or be part of.  And yet, I knew that it was time to move on.

As I looked directly into the eye of change, I began to look beyond the challenge to discover what was within me calling me to change jobs.  What was within me that was seeking to be expressed? How would leaving the comfort of what I had known on the Autism Team allow me to grow?  What gift is looking to emerge?

The gift to expand my wisdom and compassion beyond the school setting.  Advocating for and educating people in the community.  Supporting students with multiple disabilities post high school in discovering their potential.  Supporting families as their young adults transition into the adult world.  Finding meaningful and fulfilling jobs and activities for such special individuals.  The gift to reach others.

I stand at the fork in the trail now.  Looking back on the trail of the Autism Team I am amazed and so grateful for each student, each parent and each memory. Looking ahead on the trail of the Transition Team I can see hope, opportunities and success.

The challenge and the gift combined.

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