Between A Rock and a Hard Place – A Spiritual Lesson About Overcoming Adversity
Nobody gets through life unscathed. We all have difficult situations. And we all have extremely difficult situations to overcome. And as pleasure-seeking-pain-avoiding creatures on this planet, when we are in difficulty the first thing we usually do is try and “fix” it.
When in pain, we seek to eliminate the pain.
When in conflict, we seek to resolve the conflict.
When in uncertainty, we seek to find grounding.
Mind you, there's nothing wrong with wanting to minimize pain, conflict, and uncertainty. In fact, it's something I am conscious of regularly. However, the way most of us go about it is often detrimental to finding the optimal solution.
Most of the time, we seek to do that as quickly as possible. End pain fast. Resolve conflict immediately.
It's our nature to do that. Unfortunately, that's more of our primal instinctual nature… not the higher consciousness nature we aspire to embody.
Here's a story from Guy Finley that illustrates this beautifully:
(and if you haven't downloaded his free “7 Steps to Oneness” audio program, click here.”
“The Prince and the Dark Horse”
There was once a young prince who, having reached the age of majority, left home to live on a grand estate given to him by his father. He was told that if he ever needed help he was to put a light in the uppermost tower window, and his father would send a special horse and carriage to carry him to safety.However, his father also warned him that an evil wizard, an enemy of the kingdom, lived not too far from his new home. The prince was told to be wary when setting his signal, for this wizard would also see this light and might himself send his own horse and carriage to carry the prince off to who knows what kind of danger.
Of course, this frightened the young ruler-to-be. After all, how would he be able to tell the difference? His father assured him there was a foolproof measure. Each time, before entering the rescue carriage, he was to closely examine the horse pulling it. A light-colored horse would always take him to safety, but a dark horse would always take him to danger.
As one might imagine, many of the ordeals that come with the ruling life befell the prince, each one causing him to put a light in the window. And for many months, because he was in such a rush to escape his castle when he felt in danger, he failed to heed his father's warning; time and time again he neglected to examine the horse that came to get him. As a result he often found himself on one painful wild ride after another where, too late, he realized his inattentiveness was causing him as much distress as the condition he was trying to escape.
Eventually, he found the presence of mind — before he would get into the carriage that had come for him — to see if the horse pulling it had been sent by the evil wizard or by his father.
– By Guy Finley
That begs the question though: What can we actually do when we're between a rock and a hard place?
If it's ineffective and suboptimal to jump towards the first solution, and we require a solution, how do we find it?
One person might suggest waiting. Be patient. Ride it out and the problem will solve itself.
Sometimes that's true.
For example, let's look at what Thomas Moore wrote in his book “Soulmates” about this…
Rather than seeking to resolve the problem as quickly as possible, instead, allow and include the conflict to exist. Give it space. Stand inside the unknown and uncertainty.
In practicing that approach to difficult situations, what we come to see is simple. Forcing answers just leads us down the path of the “Dark Horse” like in that story.
The best and most optimal answer naturally arises when we give it a chance to. Instead of trying control the situation, accept that we don't and can't control it. Sure, we can influence it, but we can't control it.
Therefore, if we can't control a situation, the next best thing we can do is stay present. We can have faith. And we can acknowledge that whoever or whatever does control the situation will reveal to us the optimal information and/or solution when the time is right.
This is subtly different than just waiting. When we are “just waiting,” we are letting go of responsibility. We're saying “Somebody else will fix it.”
That's not effective, nor is it suggested.
Instead, when we can allow the conflict to exist, it gives us space to explore our options more fully. The longer we remain in this kind of conflict, the clearer a specific direction becomes.
We might feel inner nudges and intuition to go a certain way. More information may come forth that shows how a particular choice may be ineffective.
In other words, the unknown is always revealing more to us. And from that space, we are much more enabled to make decisions that are truly of the highest good… and not just made to alleviate the suffering and feelings of helplessness we feel inside.
Next time you have a difficult decision to make…
Instead of contracting, controlling, and trying to fix it completely…
Try giving it space. Expand yourself. Let go of the illusion of control. And trust that allowing all aspects of the situation to be explored will show you the information you need to make the most optimal decision.
Yes, sometimes situations require a fast response and a decision…
AND, when we practice the above on a regular basis, we discover that the time we need to “be in the unknown” and arrive at a solution becomes less and less.
We are also empowered to more quickly recognize when we're making sub-optimal decisions, and therefore, correct course more effectively before it's too late.
If you'd like support with this, be sure to download your free “7 Steps to Oneness” audio program from Guy Finley.