It’s a Zen proverb, “The obstacle is the path,” and it stopped me in my tracks just like any obstacle would. Because that’s what obstacles do, block your path and prevent you from going any further forward. You could go back from where you came but generally speaking that is not usually in your best interest. What to do then? Go around, go over, or move the obstacle to continue on.
I had to face this thought because, like many of us, I’ve been known to stamp around like a three year old in a temper tantrum when I didn’t like what was in front of me. And this proverb expresses a truth that we often forget about obstacles. They are the journey of life, the ups and the downs, the things that make us stronger, expand our thinking, and bring us closer to our Divine selves.
As long as we don’t avoid them.
Just for today is a phrase we use in the Reiki practice because it brings us to the present moment no matter what the obstacle in front looks like. If we can manage what shows up right now we will chip away at the larger issue until it is resolved. I read a wonderful post by Mauricio Estrella called, “How a password changed my life.” In it he describes how he used his office computer password, day by day, to move from bitterness to happiness and cleared many obstacles along the way.
In looking at an obstacle, trying to find a way through it, you can expand your way of thinking. You often have to do things completely differently in an effort to get a new result. Such as what Mauricio did by using a password to forgive his ex-wife. And having expanded your way of thinking you can use that muscle in many other areas of life. It gives you the confidence to try new and different ways of thinking about other challenges that show up.
When you face the obstacle you face your fears. And with each fear faced and conquered there is less to fear and more to love about your life, what’s going on in your life, and your abilities to handle anything. Moving fear out of the way leaves more room to simply love. It changes the whole energy of your being making the path seem easier. You may even get to ‘what obstacle?’
“The obstacle is the path”– remember that when the next challenge seems overwhelming.