I gather tremendous inspiration from witnessing other people face and conquer adversity. Often, that conquering is mistaken for the Wide World of Sports ski jumper; it looks disastrous and life threatening. While my obstacles seem significant (and to me they are), another matryroshka of strife easily gobbles me up. Someone else always has it rougher and harder.

Some people make adversity seem easy, scaling the insurmountable with grace. Like Gene Kelley, they make quick foot work and dance away. From their example, I forge ahead and face my own circumstances renewed. If they can…..I can. I regularly stand witness to people overcoming illness. On rare occasions, I have been honored to be present as someone faces death and walks bravely toward that experience. Even with fear and doubt, these brave but bereaved souls mindfully leave this world and those people and things they love. What about this human existence would be most missed? That list is infinitely long, filled with the sensual experiences and busting with the awareness that makes humanity so stunning. I argue that I’d even miss all the pain and the suffering, because it attests to the sweetness of this life.

Yesterday, an acquaintance – a woman who has played a role in one of my largest dreams – had to let go of one of hers. She and her husband lost something[A VERY BIG SOMETHING]. To them, it likely feels like paying ransom to a murderous kidnapper who kills their hostages anyways. After clinging to the rim of the black hole we’ve euphemistically called The Great Recession, they were forced to acquiesce. Forced to let got of something they had clawed and scraped to create. But a dream can quickly become an anchor, threatening your very existence. Dreams are not butterflies and dandelion seeds. Dreams are cornerstones: foundational, constitutional and fundamental. And frickin HEAVY. To abandon a dream either by rational assessment or extreme force is not equivalent to setting doves free. It is like amputating your left arm. You can live with out it, but it was a crucial part of your self-definition. And losing it changes how other people see you.

The amazing and spectacular fete is that adversity is the forge in which metal is rendered and fashioned into something ELSE. And while we might aspire to become a crowbar – a useful and respectable implement – some other, wiser and more omniscient Being may know better. We may never have allowed ourselves to soar as high as we are capable, applying restrictor plates and braking mechanisms. And those dreams tightly fisted in our hands prevented us from climbing even higher. A crowbar is a fine and noble goal but what if we are meant to be a gleaming silver platter used to serve a grand banquet or a precious chalice from which the elixir of life will flow?

What dream have you stubbornly and insistently clutched that you eventually realized was a self-made obstacle, limiting or preventing you from being on the right path for your life?

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