CHALLENGES TO STAYING POSITIVE

Smiling & Frowning Man

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My last two posts focused on becoming aware of our thoughts and feelings, and releasing the negative to focus on the positive, so that we can discover our heart’s true yearnings. In this post, I want to talk about something that, although unpleasant, is often part of the journey towards changing our thought patterns and fulfilling our goals.  This post is based on some of my personal experiences, in the hope that it will help you when you encounter something similar. So here goes:

Several years ago, I had been formulating a new set of goals that focused on several areas of my life. I was, of course, keeping watch on my thoughts and feelings so that I could remain positive. No human being can think and feel positive 100% of the time, but if we can raise the percentage to at least 51% positive vs. negative (the higher the % the better), we will see significant changes in our lives. I was very excited about my goals, and I was utilizing many of the processes for manifesting them with the Law of Attraction. This, I believe, is simply a matter of demonstrating unwavering faith in order to cooperate, or co-create, with the Divine to bring about the best circumstances for our particular life journey in accordance with the Divine plan.

Unfortunately, shortly afterwards most of the goals I had been carefully considering and planning came under fire and began to look as though they would completely fall apart. I won’t bore you with a lot of personal details, but here in a nutshell is what happened: First, an online friend, who in the past had been upbeat and positive but lately had become increasingly pessimistic, unloaded a lot of negativity and self-righteous criticism on my efforts to be positive and optimistic. This was hurtful and deflated some of my enthusiasm, despite the fact that I knew I shouldn’t let it. Then, a particular event caused my husband to get cold feet again about a relocation goal which had just been starting to get his support. Some of my efforts concerning other goals seemed to meet with indifference and lack of results (imagine cricket chirping sounds here). All in all, my confidence was badly shaken, leaving me feeling adrift, directionless, and discouraged about my goals. I was finding it extremely difficult to remain positive and hopeful.

Meanwhile, through another set of circumstances, a goal that I had not been focusing on suddenly came to the forefront. Although I did not feel receptive to it at first, I soon found myself becoming excited about that goal again, much to my surprise. So at least this was a positive development. But still, I must admit that all these circumstances threw me for a loop. They caused me to rethink my goals, putting some of them on hold, changing my strategy on others, and focusing on some I previously had not been considering. Of course, hindsight is 20/20, and with the distance of several years, in many ways I now can see the wisdom of this upheaval in my plans. But at the time, it felt devastating. 

I know that I am not alone in this experience. I have heard often about this sort of thing happening to other people when they begin making positive changes in their lives and pursuing their dreams. In fact, it had happened to me before, regarding goals I had set in the past, so it should not have come as a complete surprise when it happened again. Sometimes I did attain those goals eventually, and in other cases those goals were replaced with other, better ones.

So, since I have been thinking a lot about this turn of events in my own life, I thought it would be helpful to explore why things like this might happen just when we have set our goals and started to work seriously towards them. So here are six possible reasons to consider, whenever your goals seem to be falling apart:

  1. Course Correction: Whenever I set goals, I always pray that what I am pursuing is in keeping with the Divine plan for my life. It’s never wise to doggedly and blindly pursue goals without seeking guidance. This is because we often can end up unhappy when some of our goals may not turn out to be what we expected and instead cause trouble and regret. I totally trust that God always leads me in the right direction, provided I keep an open mind and heart. So when setbacks and disappointments rear their ugly heads, I seriously consider whether Divine guidance is correcting my course and showing me that what I am pursuing is not a true goal and not beneficial to me in the long run. 
  2. Cosmic Shake-Up: Whenever we set a goal, if it is in keeping with the Divine Plan, things will be set in motion to bring it about for us. Because of this, sometimes it means that for a while everything might be in chaos. But if we stay open and trusting, we will discern whether there is something we need to do differently in pursuit of our goals. Sometimes we just need to wait a bit for “the dust to settle,” and we will see our way clear again.
  3. Test of our Determination: How committed are we to our goals? Can we stay the course, even when other people tear down our beliefs and aspirations, even when it seems that everything is falling apart, and we feel we don’t have what it takes to succeed at our goals? Sometimes setbacks are a way of testing our determination.
  4. Test of our Trust and Faith in the Divine: Even though we say that we want to do God’s will and don’t want any goal that is not in our best interest or for the highest good of all concerned, it’s human nature to hope deep-down that God’s will is the same as our own. So it’s only natural that when a goal appears to be crumbling, we will feel deeply disappointed, maybe even bitter and angry. But it’s important to not immediately give up on all of our goals. We need to continue to put our faith in Divine guidance and do our best to keep an open mind, trusting that if a particular goal is not meant to be, then something better will take its place.
  5. Divine Detour: Almost all of our goals do, out of necessity, involve other people and circumstances. Because human beings have free will, sometimes they might be disinclined or unable to do their part in what is needed to allow our plans to succeed. It also can be that another person’s involvement or cooperation in our goal would not be in their best interest. This does not always mean that our goals won’t manifest, but it may mean that a detour or delay is necessary. Think of it like your GPS recalculating your route when you come across a road that’s closed.
  6. Things in Our Life are Out of Balance: Sometimes we can develop tunnel vision about our goals and, in the process, ignore or put on the back burner other goals, gifts and areas of our life that are actually important for us to focus on right now. I suspect that this is what happened to me that time several years ago. I trust that there was a good reason why I was called upon to resurrect a particular goal that had been dormant in my life for the previous couple of years. I have now included this goal in my plans. I have been pleasantly surprised at how much I’m enjoying including it in my life again, even though at first I was reluctant, even resentful about it.
Woman-ClosedRoad

The six reasons just outlined are often why we experience setbacks, even complete chaos and confusion, when we set goals and make the decision to effect positive change in our lives. Although these “roadblocks” are disturbing and discouraging, it’s important to stay determined to remain positive and keep our minds and hearts open to where our path may lead, even if we can’t see very far ahead right now. There is a quote I love that particularly applies to times like these: “We don’t know what our future holds, but we know Who holds our future.”

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