challenges“Life’s challenges are not supposed to paralyze you, they’re supposed to help you discover who you are.”  Bernice Johnson Reagon

You may have noticed that I have not updated the blog lately.  I have been busy dealing with life’s challenges.  In the last few months, I have had a lot of opportunities to learn about myself.  I think many times, we think of challenges as bad and sometimes they are, but not all are bad.  Sometimes, life is just challenging.

As we walk into each day, we must look challenges in the face and experience them.  When I was in High School, I kept my emotions very guarded.  I realized that if people did not know what I was feeling, then I was in control of most situations.  As I grew older, I realized that as a leader, often you have to mask what you feel for the sake of those around you.  If you are leading a group and a fire breaks out you cannot panic, you must lead others to safety calmly.  That doesn’t mean that you deny your feelings, it just means that you control them for the betterment of others.

Sometimes you can spend so much time controlling your feelings that you forget to feel.  That is when it becomes dangerous.  Some of us have been hurt by people we loved, perhaps a friend, a spouse, or a family member.  Perhaps we have gone through a painful divorce or seen someone we love suffer and die.  If we are not careful, we can become emotionally closed off. We separate ourselves from our feelings because it hurts.  If we do this, we become unable to experience all the world has to offer.  When challenges come our way, we need to welcome them with open arms, whether painful or joyous and know that God has a plan for our lives.  We must trust that to go through certain challenges equips us to better face our future.

Don’t be afraid to experience life.  Don’t become paralyzed by your past or the fear of the future; walk into it with open arms.  Learn from it.  Embrace the experience and the emotion, happy or sad, confused or enlightened; live life to the fullest.  If you experience it fully, you will come to realize that you are really living.