“We are all faced with a series of great opportunities brilliantly disguised as impossible situations.” -Charles R. Swindoll

Sometimes as we move along our individual journeys, we can fall into a pattern of non-seeing as we trudge along familiar paths, awareness unfocused on anything in particular. Sometimes it literally takes a fork in the road to make us aware of the pathway we are following at any particular time. That’s usually the time that we tune in to what’s going on around us, and face the fork in the road. Sometimes, it’s easy to decide which fork we will follow next…sometimes it’s not so easy. The key is to recognize that the fork in the road is an opportunity – no matter what it looks like.

An opportunity – what does it look like? Most people see opportunity as only good things that are presented to them. But opportunity can come in many forms – and not all of them are fun nor pretty. Some are big, some are small. Some are good, some are not so great. For example, divorce is a type of fork in the road – a path that was being followed changes via a decision made by one or two people. The opportunity? Depending on your situation, many – but the primary and most common opportunity is personal growth, learning about who you are through the process. Emotional pain, while it sucks and is no fun at all, can be a catalyst to discovering things about yourself, about your limits, your needs, your values, your morals…about you. That’s one hell of an opportunity!

Personal growth is an opportunity that presents itself in any situation – it’s all about perspective. Perspective can change the lens of life. For example – take my new situation of being newly “fascinating and complicated” with questions regarding my actual diagnosis. I could put on a lens of negativity, and see this as the worst thing that could happen: why me; why now; my life is over as I know it; I am a victim, and will always be unhealthy. Or, conversely, I can look at the situation through a more positively focused lens, and see this as an opportunity: thank goodness we found it now if it IS genetic so I can prepare my kids; what an interesting opportunity to learn more about what the heck is going on in my body; thank goodness we are focusing on stopping the seizures; imagine all the people I can share this information with so that we can all learn together.

Even simply writing the negative focus makes me feel emotionally heavy, down, depressed. But I feel much lighter, and more hopeful, and more in personal control, with the positive focus. Now some of you may say – so what? You are still in the same situation, so what’s the point?

The point is that life throws us many curve balls all the time, and if you don’t have the right lens on, you won’t see them coming at you, and you’ll miss the chance to catch the opportunities and get whacked upside the head instead! Seeing opportunity where others might see negative change or challenge allows us to cope in better ways, seeing more clearly things in ways that can help us rather than hinder us. So – keep aware on your own journey – and look for the opportunities that are all around you, be they big or tiny. They are there in every aspect of our lives.

(Do ya think I can fit any more random visual analogies in this article? LOL!)

“Nothing is a waste of time if you use the experience wisely.” -Rodin