Most everyone one I know has challenges they are faced with. Obstacles that seem overwhelming and consuming. We go about trying to avoid or escape in some form or other. From isolation to medication we seek relief from our challenges, only to find that most of the cures we seek offer limit, temporary, and short term if any relief at all. In other words there really is not short cut for relief.
We cannot hide, runaway, isolate or medicate our challenges away. Challenges are part of life. Part of the journey. No one is free from them, has been or ever will be. It may appear from the outside looking in that there are those that seem to have the perfect life, but that is an illusion. We are good at creating illusions to throw people off and make them think we are doing great. In reality most are wounded and searching for a cure. Berne Brown talks about how well we armor up. Our armor is so thick around us and we are so great at putting our armor in hiding things. So we go around thinking we are the only ones that are facing challenges in these times. When in reality perhaps the challenges of others that we cannot see are much greater than our own.
That illusive of not having challenges is not a miracle cure. We think that hiding is the cure that works to cover up all things. The cure that heals relationship problems, the cure for low self esteem, the cure for same gender attraction, the cure for addictions, the cure for fear, the cure. We all seek it and find that there is not a simple cure to make any of it disappear. And the harder we run away often times the greater the challenges become.
I have found that the only cure that really works for me is to face my challenges head on. Embrace them. Sounds like a horrible thing to do. But the most outlandish things we do are often times the best.
What I mean by Embracing them is to walk into them and discover what I am to learn and I try to understand and see how past challenges have blessed me in my own personal journey. Often times our greatest challenges become our most covenanted trophies. This only happens when I decide and make the choice to except and understand that challenges are a huge part of life and if I face them head on and move forward it will eventually change and in the process I change.
I have seen this pattern time and time again in my personal life, from work to relationships I have come to understand that I am a better person because of what I have had to embrace and run into. Yes I still crumble under my challenges and yes I sometimes run fast and hard trying to avoid them, but in truth I am learning that the best cure I have found is to embrace it. Except it for what it is and move forward with faith knowing this challenge one day will end and if not I will gain the strength and understanding how to handle it better. For in truth some challenges will never go away, only our ability will change to deal with the challenge.
For me the challenge of Same Gender Attraction is one that I have gained a great understanding about. It will never go away, but as I have faced it and embraced it has become an integral part of me, I have learned so much. I have learned that a my attractions for other men are good and healthy. That there can be more to friendships then “a slap on the back how is the weather or how was the game attitude”. I have learned that I am a sensitive and kind man and I have a great ability to love others and show them how to do likewise.
My personal challenge with Same Gender Attraction came from the deep need to be affirmed from a father. I grew up basically ignored by most men and abused by many. From facing my challenge I have learned that I can have deep meaningful friendships that take care of my needs for affirmations in a healthy wonderful way. I tried to run and hide, but by facing and seeking Gods grace I, for me, understand that Same Gender Attraction is a wonderful part of me. I am not a Gay man, but a man that loves others easily and without reservations. Facing my challenge has taught me to be more open and understanding of others and where they are on their personal challenge journey.
One of my challenges was the fear of being labeled something that I am not. Having faced that challenge in my life I now understand better where others are coming from and where I stand as a man in a world where men are not allowed to have feelings for other men without being labeled. It will alway be a challenge, but I embrace it for what I have learned has changed my life and the lives of many others.
That is the miracle of challenges. They transform us and give us the ability to bless others and lift others to a better place.
So for me, I choose to let the cure be embracing.