Holding Difficulty

At the heart of any difficulty, challenge, struggle, or fear is an unanswered question.

Almost always, that question will boil down to some variant of, “Will I be OK?”

Not knowing the answer, we get into worry and problem solving, and away from the causeless peace and harmony of the moment.

Like a small smirch on otherwise white piece of cloth, we give extraordinary and undue attention to the thing that seems “out of place.”

Can we, instead, see the whole picture? Can we understand that one poorly written book does not necessarily mean the whole library is lacking in worthy works?

As with questions, can we hold the difficulty we are currently experiencing? As hard as it is to believe, the difficulty is a gift. It is there to teach, to guide, and to help you evolve into a fuller, more authentic version of yourself—the version you are working towards realising.

To hold the difficulty means to welcome it. Give it a space at the table. Question it. Take care of it to some extent and, especially, listen to it.

It does not mean panic, slam the door shut, throw a fit, or otherwise attempt to remove the discomfort as fast as humanly possible.

Pilots climb out of turbulence incrementally, not all at once. So it can be with us.

By holding the difficulty, we let it do what it needs to do without intervention. We are able to bear the discomfort, knowing it is for our highest good in some way that is not immediately apparent. As we engage in this hands off-yet-highly-hands-on process, we find the charge lessens, and our understanding increases.

Slowly but surely, the difficulty feeling though its job is done, starts to fade away.

Then we see the difficulty was not a difficulty at all but a slightly jagged stepping stone that strengthened an area in us that was in need of attention.