How we respond to a challenge depends on our relationship to it. We can be antagonistic towards it, engaging in a ceaseless tug-of-war towards an uncertain end.
Sometimes its force is stronger, so it pulls us off of our focus. Distress triggered. Other times we gain the advantage and position ourselves in the desired direction.
It’s quite the spasmodic, animalistic, chaotic relationship, prone to high unpredictability, and it makes the phrase “go with the flow” more sensible, because pushing against the flow can unnecessarily hurt.
We can also have a coherent relationship with the challenge, which looks more like an extended, deep conversation.
A Challenge Can Stimulate Healthy Self Debate
Over time we and the challenge, through rich dialogue come to understand each other.
In this frame, we view it not as something to cause damage, but to test the self, to prompt inner probing. There’s a hidden message, only hidden until we decide to engage it.
Through dialogue with it, we come to understand it has a reason for existing, and we have a reason to experience it.
When we see clearly we can sit it down and ask it questions [Search Lama Tsultrim Allione’s “Feeding Your Demons”].
Once understood, the big bad monster challenge becomes an ally, with all of its charged meaning, one worthy enough to prompt our self-examination: Who am I becoming?