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We learn in Kabbalah that every challenge is a blessing in disguise. Even when we can’t see it, all of the difficulties we encounter are designed by the Creator to teach us something to help us grow. And although we may know this is true, it can still be difficult to stay positive in the face of adversity.
"Every challenge is a blessing in disguise."
The lessons we are meant to learn aren’t always immediately clear to us. It often takes time and distance to understand how our challenges have shaped us. But there are some steps that we can take in the present to open ourselves up to the hidden blessings we experience every day.
Here are a few ways to help find the blessing in the challenge:
1. Ask the Creator for guidance.
This should be the first thing all of us do when facing a challenge, and yet it is so easy to forget. We cannot get through our challenges without the help of the Creator. Asking the Creator for guidance reinforces our certainty that He has a plan for us, even if we aren’t sure what it is. Open your heart and mind to the messages the Creator is trying to send.
2. Reflect on past challenges you have overcome.
A great way to remind yourself that you are going through a process of growth is to think back on how previous hardships led you where you are today. We have all experienced challenges that seemed negative at the time, but ended up becoming some of the most positive experiences of our life. Look back and consider where this might be true in your life. Perhaps a messy breakup prepared you to meet your soulmate, or being laid off from a job helped you find an even better one! Chances are, you probably couldn’t see that at the time. Though you may be faced with something difficult right now, it too is shaping you, leading you where you are meant to go, and one day, it will also be in the past.
3. Ask yourself what this experience is trying to teach you.
When something bad happens to us, especially something that is out of our control, it’s easy to feel powerless. Though we may not be able to choose the things that happen to us, we can choose how we react to them and how we move forward. Take a moment away from dwelling on the negative, and think about how this experience could be useful in the future. What is the universe trying to teach you? Is it helping making you stronger in a certain area of your life? Is it teaching you valuable life lessons you can not only use in the future, but perhaps even impart onto others?
4. Talk to a friend or teacher.
None of us are meant to bear our burdens alone. It is so important that we talk to someone we trust, whether it be a teacher, a professional, or our best friend. Often, they are able to help us see things from a different point of view. Not only can another person help us think of solutions, but they also may provide insight on how we are meant to grow from the experience.
"None of us are meant to bear our burdens alone."
Seek out people who you know will be honest with you. It is said that a good friend always agrees with you, but a great friend shows you where you went wrong. When we are open to it, others can help guide and support us in our spiritual journeys.
5. Scan the Zohar.
Scanning the Zohar has the power to reveal Light, helping us see our blind spots and alleviating the pressure of whatever darkness we might be going through. Take some time each day to scan the Zohar and meditate.
6. Study spiritual wisdom.
There are so many stories in the Bible of sages who have gone through great difficulties and come out on the other side. Studying spirituality doesn't just give us a more positive mindset or inspiration, it can answer those questions for us about why we are going through the difficulty in the first place.
According to the kabbalists, the more sharing and selfless we become, the closer we grow to the Creator. One of the most powerful things we can do for ourselves and for the world is to help others. When we step outside of ourselves and our own problems to help another with theirs, we shine Light onto our darkness allowing solutions to arrive naturally. Volunteer your time, help a friend with a project. Go outside of your comfort zone. As Karen Berg says, “When we get busy taking care of others, the universe gets busy taking care of us.”
8. Commit to not letting the challenge defeat you.
The Light of the Creator dwells in our joy. Once we start letting in negative thoughts, thinking, “I can’t do this” – that is when we start to disconnect from the Creator. Keep a positive attitude, remember that you will overcome this obstacle, and focus on growing. Have certainty that the challenge is a blessing.
The Light of the Creator is all around us, blessing us in ways that we can’t even perceive. It isn’t always easy to understand why the Creator has put obstacles in our path, but knowing that they are designed to help us grow should keep us focused on the hidden lessons and blessings they hold. The more we do, the clearer the message will become.