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  1. GR8FULL

    I believe the gift is twofold: 1) the ability to Notice this challenging situation is CHRONIC and still needs to be resolved, and 2) having the opportunity to resolve it each time it appears.

    4 months ago
  2. Elise

    Throughout my life, I have faced many chronically challenging situations. Each of these situations have been very difficult, but I learned last year that life is a journey spent on a rollercoaster. You WILL experience lows, but you WILL also experience the highs. The gift of challenging situations is being able to be accepting of the present moment. A lot of times I find myself chasing that high, but then the high comes and goes and I regret the time I wasted waiting for that moment. The gift is: you have the ability to choose to enjoy this ride. Faced with a challenging situation? Take it with gratitude and know that this challenge was given to you by the Universe to make you stronger!

    4 months ago
  3. KC

    In the opening to his book The Wild Edge of Sorrow, Francis Weller offers that at some stage of life we are each invited to become an apprentice to sorrow. I feel like i am standing solidly in that universal apprenticeship these days…

    4 months ago
  4. Chester

    Three ideas stand out – the gift of humanity, the gift of connection, and the gift of fortitude. Humanity as we all share in the experience of persistent challenge. Connection as it is in our challenges that we are brought together. Fortitude as enduring challenges teach me to endure and push forward regardless of the challenge.

    4 months ago
  5. Carol

    The answer for me is in the question. If the situation is chronic, of course it’s challenging and fighting, fleeing or freezing in place does not solve anything. But facing, feeling, grieving if required, helps. An understanding that acceptance is giving in not giving up is gift. My chronically challenging situation has limited the use of so many of my talents but has gifted me with a new understanding of what really matters. In many ways, I’m living more fully than I ever have before. I was a singer and a neck surgery in 1998 robbed me of a good part of my vocal range. I could no longer form the pitches so I sang in lower keys. More recent health issues have impacted my ability to use my diaphragm effectively so I cannot project my voice and can no longer participate in live theatre productions. Another issue causes me to cough when I do try to project vocally. In 2015, I wrote the following poem (It too is a gift that allowed me to feel and grieve my loss). I share it below:

    Lament of Loss by Carol Ann Conner

    Some of us have a booming voice.
    Others speak with a lilt.
    A few are given the gift
    of song, but the day comes
    when it is gone.

    When this happened to me
    It is like being violently stripped,
    ripped from my very being
    at the altar
    of wasted chances.

    Love always sang to me
    through me,
    filling my aching heart
    so many times when hope
    could not be found.

    The laughter, the tears,
    the promise, the fears,
    The total vulnerability
    That resonated
    in each tone.

    Images of audiences
    that still thrill me,
    still inspire me
    and fill me
    with awe and gratitude.

    No longer the singer
    of the song,
    No longer the voice
    that’s forever gone
    but the music lives on, and on.

    4 months ago
    1. Maeve

      Thank you for this poem.

      4 months ago
      1. Carol

        You are most welcome. Thank you for reading it!

        4 months ago
    2. Kevin

      Carol, such beautiful, tender, and honest words here. Thank you.

      4 months ago
      1. Carol

        Kevin, It has been helpful to learn that losing a gift can present one with a gift. Of course, I will always wish the voice was there. That said, I am grateful for the memories of when it was there; and I know that its loss has gifted me with greater awareness and compassion for myself and others.

        4 months ago
    3. Hermann-Josef

      The voice is gone. Singer is still there. I hear you singing everyday

      4 months ago
      1. Carol

        Hermann-Josef, What a beautiful message to receive. Thank you.

        4 months ago
  6. Moses

    Spimply being present, going through the hardship aware and gaining insight that would later be used for my benefit.

    4 months ago
    1. Mica

      Thanks, Moses – I like your reply 🙂

      4 months ago
  7. Charlie T

    I hope that the gift is awareness and compassion.

    4 months ago
  8. Butterfly

    Chronic illness has forced me into following a more spiritual outlook in order for me to find purpose and meaning in a life where every thing I do leaves me exhausted and in pain. It is a work in progress but I have found a level of acceptance and through gratefulness I have learnt to find joy in little things and celebrate any achievements, however small and mundane they would appear to a healthy person. Being bedbound gives me the time and stillness to work on going deeper and finding light-filled spaciousness which is a beautiful place to be when I can quiet my mind for long enough!

    4 months ago
    1. Pilgrim

      I honor your courage, Butterfly, and hold you in light and hope.

      4 months ago
  9. c

    Remember: there’s nothing to push against, work to feel, to understand, to create being safe. Look into the intentions of those who who at first seem to bring threat. Be grateful for the friend who gives guidance and understanding of the systemic factors at play in complicating the challenge. Act to help alleviate the the suffering, hopefully in ways that benefit both parties.

    4 months ago
  10. Laura

    I can explore new resources that might help me cope. Sometimes a book, article or chat with a friend can provide a perspective that helps me see a situation in a new light.

    4 months ago
  11. Hjt

    A stability in the medication I am on . It amend I are doing an endless dance of on again ,off again. . Yet I am grateful that I am not in severe pain and pray for my friends who are!

    4 months ago
  12. Antoinette

    Pain that’s chronic is challenging and the gift is learning how to accept and let go!

    4 months ago
  13. EJP

    The gift that I’ve received in this challenging situation is the realization that I possess great strength and courage from deep within, along with an abundance of patience.

    4 months ago
  14. Kevin

    Might? Really? I live with chronic back pain that at times is extremely painful and debilitating. It’s been 14 years and I’m still waiting for the gift. Depending on the measure of challenge a person’s so-called “situation” may be, pollyannish comments like today’s question sometimes do the opposite of their intended effect.

    4 months ago
  15. Rabbit

    When I have had a difficult situation, I have been surprised by which are my friends offer support. It is not always the people we expect.

    4 months ago
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