Life is about learning lessons and growing as a spiritual being. The troubles and tribulation we encounter along the way are growth opportunities not punishment. Some lessons are relatively simple and others, not so much. The later of these are hugely important in terms of our spiritual growth. Of course, when times are tough it's difficult to see the value that will be reaped when it's all said and done. Hindsight is where this value tends to become most apparent. Surely you can think back over the landscape of your life and recognize value that came about following previous bouts of hardship.

When you find your life is in the toilet, whether the situation is real or imagined, your mental take on it is what makes or breaks you. The reality of the circumstance is secondary to how you choose to internalize the significance of it. The worst thing you can do is to let poor choices or unpleasant circumstances define your self-image.

Learning isn't always fun or easy. Important life lessons often necessitate deep change in terms of our beliefs about the world and our role in it. Deep change is scary because it necessitates letting go of a part of us. Even if the part in question is unhealthy, we still feel trepidation when confronted with the act of letting go. Unfortunately, those in greatest need of change are often even more fearful of letting go of things that hold them back.

Life is Change

Minutes, hours, days and seasons constantly change. Everything in nature changes and adapts over time. When change ceases the resulting state is death and decay. When we arrive at one of those inevitable low points on the journey of life we have to realize it's not the end of life but an opportunity for a new beginning. Difficult times in life are God's way of prodding us to change and adapt in preparation for a new season of growth and prosperity. Just as trees let go of their leaves after a bountiful summer, we too must let go of some part of ourselves at times to make way for new growth.

Happiness Is A Choice

The difference between those who are happy and those who aren't is largely determined during the difficult times in life. Happy people choose to see these periods as opportunities to learn and adapt. This is done by consciously choosing to focus on all that is good and right in life at the time instead of dwelling on all that is wrong. The more difficult the situation gets, the more energy they invest in gratitude for even the smallest of blessings. Choosing to focus on blessings has the effect of making you more consciously aware of the good verses negative. On the surface it seems simplistic but at the subconscious and spiritual levels it's very powerful. In fact, the single best thing you can do when life is falling apart around you is to literally sit down and write a list of every little thing in your life you can be thankful for. Then post that list where you have to see it several times a day. Make a practice of reading it aloud once a day. As more blessing come to mind add them to your list. No matter how tough things are you always have things to be grateful for.

Examples: I am grateful

* That I have the ability to breathe
* That I have a healthy heart
* That I have a healthy brain
* That I have a healthy body
* That I can read
* For my family who loves me
* For my friends who care about me
* That I have shoes to wear
* That this period in my life will pass soon

The toughest, most challenging situations we're likely to encounter in life involve being pushed toward change that you're resisting consciously or subconsciously. In these situations the more you resist the change and cling to your status quo, the greater the pressure to change becomes. This often manifests as a feeling that your life is falling apart.

Ironically, we all want better things in life yet this can't happen without change. Your life can't become better unless and until you learn to embrace change. Remaining the same year after year is not life. It's a slow languishing death.

Author's Bio: 

Charles Bender MHR is a Certified Professional Life Coach, Clinical Hypnotherapist, Master Neuro-Linguistic Programming Trainer and Master Reiki Practitioner. He is the Programs Director for Chrysalis Institute LLC, Emotional Wellness Center located in Moore, Oklahoma. Charles also serves as Professional Life Coach for Information Technology at the University of Oklahoma one of Computerworld's 100 Best Places to Work in IT 2010.