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  • Writer's pictureLina

3 Things I’ve Learned from Life’s Challenges

I’ll be honest, the last two years of my life have been chaotic. I have been going down through some deep dark shadows, as we all have as a collective. I could sit here and talk about all the things that have made this time difficult, but that’s not what I want to share with you. Mostly because those things are in the past now and I feel whole and healed from many of them. Because I have found the blessing in all that, I now feel that I am able to clearly share what I’ve learned from those times I’ve felt isolated, from the times I’ve felt ungrounded, from the times I felt so overwhelmed with uncertainty all I could do was sit and cry, from the times I’ve broken down… and then broken through.


Life can be challenging sometimes. We all know that. It’s what we learn from these challenges that allow us to grow, experience life more fully, and find gratitude for both the shadows and the light making us whole. I want to share with you 3 major things I’ve learned as I’ve resisted, endured, released, and surrendered into life’s challenges.


1. SELF-RESPONSIBILITY

In ‘new-age’ spirituality everyone likes to talk about “manifesting abundance, wealth, and joy” but no one ever talks about how you also manifest lack, scarcity, and pain. That’s right, my friends. You manifest everything in your life. Not just the fun stuff, but the not so fun stuff too. It’s in this lesson that we can take responsibility for everything going on in our lives, stop blaming other people and outside circumstances for our problems, and start taking our freakin’ power back so we can appreciate everything we’ve experienced because every part of it has helped us get to where we are now.


None of the challenges that happened to me were my fault, but that doesn’t mean I shouldn’t take responsibility for them. I don’t ever have control over what is going on in the outside world, but I ALWAYS have control over my energy, my thoughts, and how I use them. So I’ll be the first to say that I manifested alllll of the things that have been the bane of my existence the last two years, whether consciously or not (more on this in #2). Responsibility is our ability to respond. When I felt like my world was crashing down over the course of this time, I had an ability to respond with either resistance or acceptance.


When I responded with resistance, things got soooo much harder. I felt defeated, confused, and lost. I refused to ask for help out of pride. I felt like life was working against me. I wanted to be pitied. I felt like I was living two lives and felt isolated from everyone. Resistance, man, it’ll wear you down quick!


When I responded with acceptance, miracles happened. Life felt easy. I could laugh at the challenges coming up as cosmic jokes the Universe was testing me with just to see if I really practiced what I preached. I took each closed door as an opportunity to reroute. I took each unexpected turn of events as a chance to experience something new. I took each rejection as a lesson of how to feel inner peace. I was able to dive deep into the darkness of my own soul just to come out the other side with a lightness like never before.


Take it from me, acceptance is the answer. When we realize that EVERYTHING IS SACRED and even the hard days are simply just a part of the process. This is where our power, and our responsibility for that power are present. And this doesn’t mean that just because you accept life that you won’t have hard days anymore. You will, but they won’t feel as debilitating as they did before. Hard days won’t turn into hard years into a hard life. Instead you’ll take them in stride, look at them like a geode -- just a rock on the outside but full of gems as lessons hidden on the inside, and simply enjoy the feeling of riding the wave of this human experience. The more we resist the waves of change of life, the harder they crash. Just jump on that board and go, baby. It’s gonna be a fun time, I promise.


2. EVERYTHING I UNCONSCIOUSLY CREATE FOR MYSELF ONLY MAKES ME STRONGER


Even though I wasn’t consciously manifesting challenges, I subconsciously was. That’s because my subconscious holds all of my deep seated limiting beliefs. After I took responsibility for myself and what was happening to me, it became pretty clear that these challenges weren’t happening to me, they were happening FOR me. All of the suffering I’ve gone through actually has had a purpose. Imagine that! What a change of perspective on suffering. We tend to want to believe that suffering happens for no reason at all, but could it be that there actually is a purpose for it?


Everything else on this planet has its place and purpose, I would imagine that suffering does too. That’s what is beautiful about unconsciously creating your own suffering is that all of these dark, scary shadows come up to the surface and into your reality because they are ready to be healed, transmuted, and transformed.


Let me give you an example from my own personal experience. My partner, Juan, and I got married in October 2020. Since then we have only been able to spend a total of 4 months together. Not by choice, but because of our visas (or lack thereof) in each other's countries being denied or needing to be completely redone or taking an extremely long time to get through immigration processes, a global pandemic, job loss, blah blah blah. We’ve been separated for much more time than we’ve been together since we got married and it has been really hard on both of us. Even though some of these situations have been completely out of my control, some of them were not. Some of them were my mistakes by not having the right papers or taking too long to start the process (hello, my good friend, procrastination).


It hit me recently that an unconscious limiting pattern that has been playing in my life is this pattern of unworthiness and not feeling like I’m good enough to receive love, or any sort of good in my life. And Juan is without a doubt the best thing that has ever happened to me. I have had days where I really cannot comprehend that I have a love as deep and real as this. So… if on the surface I love Juan and want to be with him more than anything, I am literally willing to leave my family and home country and learn a new language to be with him, but underneath that the motherboard of my life that is my subconscious believes that I am not worthy of this love and I am not ready to open myself up to receive something this good and beautiful… What do you think is going to happen?


Situations will come up that keep me comfortable and that fit the narrative of what my core beliefs are. It was more aligned with my underlying beliefs that I don’t deserve love so, naturally I am going to be separated from the very person who loves me because I don’t deserve him. Therefore, I unknowingly and unconsciously created our separations. I had to get kicked out of Ecuador and separated from the love of my life by oceans and continents just to stay in my comfort zone.


Oof. That hits deep. It’s not easy to admit but here we are folks, heart wide open for all to see. Radical acceptance. And thanks to self-responsibility, I accept that I created that situation.


With all that said, now that I can look back on all of this with a clear eye, I see that it HAD TO HAPPEN THAT WAY. I had to create that painful situation for myself in order to come to this realization. It had to come up because that pattern needed to be healed. Not to mention that I had countless incredible and much needed experiences come from being back in the States. When I look at this situation or any other difficult one in my life, I am always reminded that EVERYTHING IS PERFECT.


Now, I see this pattern with more clarity and I am actively healing it so that I can begin to feel worthy of all the goodness that is my life. Now, I can accept that I actually do deserve a life this good. Now, I am opening myself up to receive a love as full as Juan’s and a life as full as I desire.


Now, it’s easy to understand that everything I unconsciously create for myself only makes me stronger. It comes up to be healed, not to be ignored and pushed away. Our shadows come up because they are ready to be alchemized into something bigger, better, and brighter. We’re turning lead into gold here, people!


3. THERE IS NOTHING I CANNOT HANDLE AND TRANSMUTE


After looking at all that, getting down on my knees in the mud of my own mess, diving deep into the depths of what it means to be a spiritual being having an earthly experience, can I just say… I am a fucking BADASS. After all these last two years of unexpected twists and turns, of creating my own suffering, of watching the world as I know it crumble beneath my fingers and still come out the other side ready to embrace life with even more gratitude and love… wow.


Just, wow. I have been through it and I didn’t turn away from any of it. I didn’t turn my back on the hard parts of life. I didn’t quit. I made the most of otherwise shitty situations. At the end of all of this I have taken mud and grown a beautiful garden. I have dug my roots deeper into the Earth and I have sprouted new leaves. I have lived. I have lived. I have lived.


If I could handle all that chaos, all that confusion, all that suffering… and still be here to tell the tale… what can’t I do?! I am an alchemist. Taking something ugly and turning it into a masterpiece. Now I feel like I can handle any situation and I will ALWAYS find my way back to growth, transformation, love and freedom. There is NOTHING that can break my spirit.


On the other hand of the challenges I’ve faced over these last few years, I also recognize that it has been a time of my deepest, most profound healing and growth. I have invested more time, money, and energy into myself and my healing than ever before. I have learned so much from teachers, guides, and coaches from all around the world. I have collected so many practices and tools that have helped me along this path of coming home to myself. I feel genuinely equipped to take on anything life throws at me, any shadow that comes up, and any darkness I have to face. Knowing that these experiences have great things to teach me, and knowing that I will always come out the other side shining brighter than ever before.


Find a summary of the tools that have helped me on my journey on the Toolbox page.


I have infinite, infinite gratitude for it all. When I say all I really do mean ALL. Thank you for the suffering. Thank you for the shadows brought up. I am so grateful they came up so they could be learned from, healed, and transmuted. Thank you for the contrast for it has served me in seeing more clearly what I do want. Thank you for the love. For the way I have been supported by friends, family, and my partner through all of these processes. Thank you for my safety, I am so grateful that I have multiple places around the world that feel like home. Thank you for my health, my body carrying me through all of this change knowing that it would only make me stronger. Thank you for the wisdom that shines through with integration and stillness and patience. Thank you for the breakdowns, which eventually led to breakthroughs. Thank you for giving me the strength to go on and the ability to feel the full spectrum of what it means to be alive. I love all of this.


As you can see, a lot has shifted, changed, and grown out of the chaos of these challenges. There’s not a single thing I would change about any of it, because all of it got me to where I am right now. And where I am right now feels like the most whole, integrated, strong, soft, and alive I have ever been. Everything about my life feels FULL. I know there is always more space for learning, and I know that this process of healing is one that is never done but, dang, do I feel proud of myself for getting this far.











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