What is the biggest challenge you’ve ever had to overcome?

Jon Brooks (@JonBrooks) 6 years, 1 month ago

To celebrate the launch of 30 Challenges to Enlightenment I thought I’d make this discussion challenge related. 

I was just wondering what challenges you have had to overcome on your journey to living a High Existence.

For me, the biggest challenge I had to overcome was wearing braces for almost five years in my early twenties. It wasn’t a challenge in a conventional sense, i.e., climbing Everest, winning a competition, doing a hundred crunches, etc.

It was a test of patience — waiting… waiting… waiting.

I was originally meant to wear braces for two years, but the end date kept moving further away. I felt like I was in a kind of mentally constructed prison. Unable to outhink the predicament that I was a “work-in-progress,” waiting to be fixed, and as a result, always feeling less than.

When I look back over those years, they are the best thing that I’ve ever had to endure. Right now I’m sitting in an office in the center of Amsterdam with Martijn Schrip and Jordan Bates, my co-workers at HighExistence, sitting right across from me. Without my patience and optimism being tested as it was, I wouldn’t have taken up the spiritual path, wouldn’t have read the same books, and wouldn’t have sought the same emotional outlets.

Amor Fati — love your fate. 

What is the biggest challenge you’ve ever had to overcome?

July 1, 2016 at 12:13 pm
Martijn Schirp (112,780)A (@martijn) 6 years, 1 month ago ago

For me, the biggest challenge was (and still is) to overcome my own sense of inadequacy. I was one of those weird little ducks in high school, getting picked on quite often, not fitting in, not knowing why I wasn’t accepted.

Somewhat ironically, this resulted in a infatuated sense of self, puffing up the parts that I knew people liked, and hiding other parts that I was painfully punished for showing. The biggest challenge was (is) to start loving myself, including the dark and hidden parts, and learning to view those in the past with a compassionate gaze.

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Thomas Khepri (4) (@ThomasKhepri) 6 years, 1 month ago ago

I can relate man, it got easier for me to manage when I realised that everyone has those dark and hidden parts. 

A saying I once heard fits really well here… “Don’t compare your out takes to someone else’s show reel”.

peace!

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Farquaad (1) (@FatFat) 6 years ago ago

i’m actually in that life phase, and i’, still trying to love my self, but have no major progress :c

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urdivine (1) (@urdivine) 5 years, 10 months ago ago

This is such an important topic that I feel I need to comment.  Almost veryone needs, to some degree, more self Love, self esteem, self worth.  You can search on youtube for binaural beats and isotronic brainwave sounds for those topics.  Get a decent pair of headphones and start listening….everyday.  Listen to vocal guided meditaions and subliminal sounds.

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xnj12511 (0) (@xnj12511) 5 years, 11 months ago ago

my Aunty Elise just got an awesome metallic Mazda CX-7 SUV just by part time work from a compute
 ►►►✒✒✒✒✒✒ http://www.factoryofincome.com 

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Joseph Quinn (0) (@Wavelength) 6 years, 1 month ago ago

The hardest thing I’ve had to to overcome is Tourette’s. Feelings of inadequacy and fear all fed what doctors believe is incurable. Silly

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russell2 (6) (@scott32089) 6 years, 1 month ago ago

This post brough 2013, the hardest year of my life, to mind. To preface: In late 2012 I was hit by a car and had a 3rd degree AC joint tear which basically equated to a disconnected arm. After months of trying to let it heal, I opted for surgery for which recommended at least 3-6 months in a sling, even while sleeping. This period in which I needed help doing the simpliest of things eventually led to my girlfriend of 4 years, whom I moved to the East Coast from Hawaii for, moved out and cold turkey stopped communicating with me. 

About a month after this in the rigors of eeking out the ability to attend Nursing School and convincing them that I can make the disability work for now, my mother attempted suicide. If not for my father coming home early that night and realizing what had happened, she wouldn’t be here. 

Around this same time, I’d been working since before the accident in securing a home loan to purchase the multifamily house I was living in, so as to provide for my now defunct relationship. Due to my inability to work, the funding I was promised was pulled and the house was sold to a horrible man which then became my landlord.

Oct 28th, 2013 was the worst day of my life. It had officially be two months since no contact with my ex, my mother was still in a mental institution, and I could only lift two pounds with my right arm while being expected to lift 150 pound patients. I was feeding my clinical patient I’d been taking care of for a few weeks when he suddenly stopped eating, then moving, then breathing. The first patient I’d ever taken care of died while I was feeding him. As the mourning family was heard wailing down the hall about an hour later, my father called. He was letting me know that due to the circumstances and for his health, he needed to divorce my mom. The final blow was that my clinical professor, oblivious to the new situation, let me know that now my patient had passed away, my 15 page full medical writeup due the following week would need to be done on an entirely new patient and that I only had three hours left to get my information. 

The months following was a blur of self-loathing and pity, where I drank heavily, barely scrapped by in school, but most of all I was lonely as the person I was hoping to get married to left me when the going got tough. I had no one except my family 1/2 across the world to confide in. 

Then one night I realised that I didn’t need anybody, I always have myself and life does go on regardless. Soon after, my life motto became and continues to be, “There are silver linings in everything.” 

My disability made me appreciate my bodily health and ability like never before, and I literally became stronger than I ever was because of it. My ex-girlfriend stole a piece of my heart, but she could keep that piece because I was growing a bigger heart to give to my new friends I now had the time to make. The house that fell through gave me an opportunity to work towards a different goal of moving closer to my family. The first patient that had passed away gave me an opportunity to deal with my own feelings of death and dying, one that no other student in my 4 years of school got. And as for my family, while they are still fragmented and torn, I alone am the glue that holds my parents and three siblings together and will continue to do so because it strenghtens my own higher existence. 

Looking back on it all, I found that I alone create the life that I want to live and have the power to get through anything because I was able to live through that time and succeed. I passed Nursing school and became an BNS RN two months ago, moved within a three hour radius of 95% of my family last month and am happy to say that I could not be happier that everything happened the way it has and continues to do so. 

The one thing I will say is that there are ALWAYS silver linings to every event. Find them and take solace in their positivity.

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Kaylib Meigan (4) (@Kaylib-Meigan) 6 years, 1 month ago ago

powerful story, your a very strong person

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Dreimlar (0) (@Dreimlar) 6 years ago ago

Really inspiring story man, thanks for sharing. 

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Javier (2) (@Javier-Rios) 6 years ago ago

I can imagine the darkness around you in that time and the joy of findinf its end. Somewhere I read that when we finally make it, and want to remember how you do it, you can’t remember how do you get trough the storm…

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ciliarylion (2) (@ciliatylion) 6 years ago ago

Great story fairplay to you hope you are doing well now and everafter

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LuckyOleg (1) (@LUCKYOLEG) 5 years, 11 months ago ago

That’s the story. Long, hard road out of hell. Respect and wish you all the best, man.

P.S. Just curious, did your ex ever texted/called you again?

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Alex (2) (@acommito) 6 years, 1 month ago ago

the hardest thing I’ve ever hard to overcome is myself

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Alex (2) (@acommito) 6 years, 1 month ago ago

had*

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Cherish McCann (1) (@Cherish-McCann) 6 years ago ago

How did you overcome yourself??

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Lauren Brooke (5) (@GypsyLo) 6 years ago ago

I don’t believe we ever overcome ourseleves. We shouldn’t try to understand ourselves at a level that is unexplainable. I do believe we can control our thoughts, ideas, beliefs, things like that. But we can not live our lives in a constant wonder of what exactly we are.. We just have to accept ourselves and love who we are. We are amazing, rare, beautiful beings! We accept ourselves and try to improve on things daily. It is all about growth and really finding peace in who you are. 

Just some of my ideas, but i would love to hear yours as well.

Lo

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Kaylib Meigan (4) (@Kaylib-Meigan) 6 years, 1 month ago ago

Im a surfer, and always keen to push myself. Mid June I went with a close friend to a spot about 2 hours away from my home in some big challenging surf, and the whole way down there I felt frustrated and angry at myself for continually surround myself with people I no longer resonated with and letting them push me around….

I took my bad attitude to the water and had very negative self talk and was self hating, making me have a shitty surf and then getting swept down super close to some rocks after 4 hours in the water when I was weak and tired, and so was panicking and literally fighting for my life, trying not to get smashed onto rocks by large powerful waves..luckily a more experienced surfer came down and helped me to paddle back out and get to safety – which involved diving towards rocks and potentially putting myself back in the same situation. I survived this terrifying and humbling ordeal which radically altered my perspective about what I value in my life, who i want to surround myself with and what I want to spend my life doing. The implications of this day are still sinking in

Just over a week ago I suffered a huge panic attack after smoking a joint with a group of friends, and eventually found myself in the emergency room surrounded by my girlfriend and parents, who were all very concerned and confused as to what was happening. This attack came on completely randomly at a house in which my friends who live there have felt strange vibes, suffered sleep paralysis multiple times and where I have always felt semi on edge or watched. During my panic attack I could feel the looming ominous presence of a spirit which had hostile intentions towards me, and it sure added to the stress I was feeling!! 

After leaving the hospital, I went home, and the following evening my parents and other family members sat me down for an intervention. They said my weed addiction had grown to a point where it was damaging me psychologically and physically, and that they wanted me to choose between having weed in my life or packing my things and moving out in order to ” hit rock bottom and take myself to rehab”, which they felt I needed and wasnt far away in my life at that stage. Their barrage of incredibly hurtful comments and opinions of me cut me to me deepest core and made me doubt EVERYTHING about myself. As a casual pot smoker who is currently doing well in my 4th and final year of marine engineering, who has a job and a girlfriend, this made me feel like my family did not trust or respect me. The huge life changes I had made over the previous 4 years –  including going vegan, quitting alcohol, starting surfing, doing yoga, working out and cutting many many poisonous people out of my life – were nothing to them, and I feel this event will take a long time to recover from.

Its been a very hard June, and I know these events will make me much stronger in the long run, but that doesnt take away the hurt and mental shake up these two events have inflicted on me. This is going to be a long road to get to a good place again

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Lauren Brooke (5) (@GypsyLo) 6 years ago ago

Wow, much respect! I feel like this is relatable to anyone young adult that is going through a change from being a young adult to an actual adult. There is so much pressure (or feels as if there is) upon us younggins to do the right thing, make the right choice, be better at basically everything since we arent teenagers anymore. One thing that has helped me and some of the struggles I have had.. I always remind myself that I am trying my best, doing my best, and always being present! Taking everything day by day. Give yourself some credit things for the awesome things you are doing-going vegan! Yoga! Noticing the toxic things/people in your life. Those are all awesome things. Keep it up. Like you said, it will make you stronger in the long run!

There are many of us in the same place as you..
Me being one, sending good vibrations your way my friend.
-Lo 

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Kaylib Meigan (4) (@Kaylib-Meigan) 5 years, 12 months ago ago

Thank you Lauren, your feedback means alot :) peace and stay strong on your journey 

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Aura666 (0) (@aarati7) 5 years, 12 months ago ago

sounds like you have gone through so much and i just wanted to say, I believe in you. I trust that you are a good human being who will learn and make choices that makes you happy. I hope things are going well atm x

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Dean (4) (@danydin) 5 years, 11 months ago ago

you’re ON THE TRACK mate!

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Stevie (7) (@BrainFartSteve) 6 years, 1 month ago ago

The biggest challenge I had to overcome and in fact, I am still trying to, is to forgive myself and start loving myself again.

When I was 8 years old I had a major eye injury when crossbow pierced my eye and left me partially blinded. After numerous surgeries I saved my eye, but it left a scar that serves as a reminder of what I’ve become. Beside physical difference, this event turned my psychological world upside down and I’m still adapting 18 years later. This challenge made me more conscious of my time on this realm and it brought me on the path of high existence.

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Callowman (12) (@Callowman) 6 years, 1 month ago ago

So when I was in high school I dated this girl who had a friend, and her boyfriends name was Jared. Now Jared and I were acquaintences but we never hung out, we finished high school, I went to University and he went to TAFE, we both broke up with our girlfriends. Now in the first year of university, I had a hard time. I was using alcohol heavily at the time didn’t know much about drugs, but what I did know was that Jared knew how to get MDMA, and I knew how to get acid, and if we hung out we would have a great time. Jared and I had the same upbeat ‘why not’ attitude and were in the process of organising a time when he was diagnosed with cancer.

Now, at the time of self abuse I was going through, I was only just becoming aware of how much I disliked my high school friends for the fakeness and carefully manicured personalities, so drugs were a way for me to escape and was incredibly lonely, in debt, failing all my classes and had almost submitted myself to that life when Jared messaged me out of the blue. I’d been vaguely following his progress on Facebook and knew he was out of chemo and home, and we decided to meet up and hang. 

From then on we were inseperable. I had been ostracised for my drug use by my peers and had noone who would talk to me as just another human being, Jared was 40kg, on crutches, bald and still on a ton of meds. We clicked then in a way I havent clicked with anyone since. For the next 8 months we built our bodies, health, met people and take life by the balls, just him and I, two unlikely misfits in Australia doing what made us happy. We took acid at sunrise, engaged in Ayahuasca ceremonies, cliff jumped at midnight, snuck into theme parks to climb the bungee towers and just look at the city, among much, much more.

Jareds cancer had receeded and times were good. We met a group of extraordinary people I’m now blessed to call my friends, we expanded our circles and just kept going, all the while hardly ever leaving others side. All we wanted was to have fun, love and play and we did just that for the next year. Until the cancer back. This time it was in his lungs and was inoperable. It was at this time I spiralled into a deep and dark depression. This person I know as the most honest, kind and loving person I had ever met was going to die for no decent reason. What kind of existance is it when things so unjust are allowed to just happen? I tried to commit suicide (not proud), I started pushing everyone away except Jared, started Isolating myself and stopped washing. It was at this time that my grandfather, (who was one of the only family members who really understood me ) died. I recieved the news on the friday and by the following monday I was in England, the funeral being on wednesday. On our adventures, we’d met a ton of truly special people, sone of whome happened to be in England at the time, so on the Monday I set off to visit my friend Jak in Colchester. We drunk, smoked weed, chatted, played frisbee golf and all in all ended up having a fantastic time.

It was that Tuesday morning in england when I recieved the call, Jared had taken a turn for the worse and had died in the night. 

It destroyed me.

My best friend in the whole world was gone. Anywhere we went it was ‘Jason and Jared’, anytime we were feeling lonely, scared, feeling inadequate or anything- no matter what- we were there for each other. And now it was all gone. My grandfathers funeral was the very next morning and in time so was Jareds. The funeral was great, I wore a sexy red dress to it (as was part of an agreement for whoever died last) and it was a massive celebration of life. In typical Jared fashion, after all the tears and readings, to his request we played “Highway to Hell” at full volume, danced like noone was watching. We cried, we laughed, we remembered.

Since then life has been put into perspective a great deal. The pain of losing the two people who really understood me so close to each other and at such a weak time in my life has been an almost insurmountable task. I’m calmer now, more measured, and spend my hours working on my goals and spirutuality. I feel as though this experience has taught me a lesson that I can’t properly put into words, but it gives me strength. I still carry Jared with me wherever I go, in my heart and in the form of a pheonix on my back. 

So that wasn’t the funnest time, but I do feel like I know what im doing here now, and am looking forward to the next adventure. 

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Kaylib Meigan (4) (@Kaylib-Meigan) 6 years, 1 month ago ago

powerful

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Almeida (304) (@xetado) 5 years, 11 months ago ago

I strongly relate to you, man. Thank you so much for this story, it really touched me.

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Dean (4) (@danydin) 5 years, 11 months ago ago

I’ve to admit you made me kind of cry stay strong and listen to yourself not anyone else! 

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Ellie (1,363)M (@tangledupinplaid21) 6 years, 1 month ago ago

The biggest challenge I’ve ever had to overcome (and am still working on every day) is the tendency to suppress pain. I could have listed any number of issues over life that resulted from this, but it all stems from that habit which I learned in childhood as a defense mechanism against things which were inflicted upon me.

Now, I am learning to take my (often quite intense) moods as they come and attempt to work along with the currents, instead of denying or rejecting them. Easier said than done, but life has gotten immeasurably better since committing to trying. :)

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Jon Brooks (4,512)A (@JonBrooks) 6 years ago ago

Hey Ellie. Yeah, that’s something I’ve had to work on too. Buddhism has been a great source of wisdom for me. Especially the ideas on aversion and attatchment. On some level we’re always pushing things away or clinging on to them. The only way out it seems, is to be aware and curious — to walk into the storm. :)

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JackSamuk (3) (@jacksamuk) 6 years, 1 month ago ago

The biggest challenge I have ever faced was staying sick in bed for one year, without being capable of walking properly or even sleeping in a comfortable position, after going through a surgery that had no anestesia applied, I felt life in the form of burning pain, and that was the  blessing moment I realised the fragility of my vessel and the strenght of a soul.The outcome of that expierience was a new soul , a newborn man and definitely a stronger vessel with the scar of another chance craved on the flesh. Now, simple things that we take for granted such as, running, jumping, sitting awkwardly , I do it with the utmost pleasure and sense of paramount value, for everything is impermanent and we never know what life might take back from us, sometimes a ” borrowed blessing” costs more than we can pay. Until then, enjoy and live!!! Peace to all.

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Karina (0) (@kari921) 6 years, 1 month ago ago

The biggest challenge that I have ever overcome is being emotionally weak. Most people usually think that being expressive/sentimental is usually considered as emotionally weak and not showing your emotions is considered as strong. When I was in high school, I never used to think like this. But people around me considered me as weak, which I was not. So I ended up hiding all the things as I could as there was only one solution to this problem.

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Kimberly (1) (@Kimberly-Wiefling) 6 years, 1 month ago ago

For me, it’s my self-limiting beliefs and assumptions about what’s possible for me, and the temptation to embrace learned helplessness due to the “reality” of the biases I experience towards me as a woman.

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Jon Brooks (4,512)A (@JonBrooks) 6 years ago ago

Hmmm, that’s an interesting one Kimberly. Yeah, I’ve never had that specific problem but have experienced other biases related to my age/nationality/etc. Perhaps you could read some inspiring biographies of great female characters throughout history to supply your brain with proof that the limiting beliefs you are made up mostly of projections. 

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[email protected] (0) (@rickielee) 6 years, 1 month ago ago

physic experience at 12 years old I new they were real prior to then I was unsure after that I had many different minor experiences at 47 another involving a death of my brother in law ,and yesterday another came to pass. Today at 62years of age I’m seriously confused.

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t-rav (25) (@travis) 6 years, 1 month ago ago

For me it was enduring and then understanding/overcoming the existential angst that I experienced from an early age. I was anxious and nervous a lot of my younger years, then for a long period starting in my late teens used alcohol, other drugs, and girls to numb out the pain until I had a multitude of health problems including cancer during college.  Recovery came through the possiblilty of dying, then following a spiritual path for the past two years.  I was never tought about any of the things that now allow me to grow and make me feel whole by society, but the universe gave me a second chance for life and I am extremely grateful.

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Thomas Khepri (4) (@ThomasKhepri) 6 years, 1 month ago ago

The biggest challenge I am still overcoming is being diagnosed with a mental illness at the age of 19. I found comfort and guidance in spiritual practise when I was 18, which led me to have many profound experiences. I suddenly felt more at ease in my own skin and simply more joyful, which caused my family to worry about me.

It’s not necessarily the diagnosis that bothers me, although being told by a professional that what you are experiencing is not real is disconcerting, it is the repeated hospitalisations and detours out of my life that has impacted a lot.

As well as that, the medication that I was forced to take numbs my soul man! I cannot stress enough how sluggish and unable to process thought it makes me!

4 years on, I’m 23 and facing a future with as much hope as possible. Just got to find a place where I fit in I suppose.

Thanks for sharing and reading!

Tom

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Ksenia (2) (@Ksenia-Safronenko) 6 years ago ago

To change my mentality. Twice.

First, when I decided to relocate from Russia to developed liberal England. I gave up my job, my friends, and family.  I had to start from washing someone’s hair (with Masters degree yes) every day and being completely alone. Most importantly, I had to change my mentality and open my mind. I still remember the first time I bought a beer for a man. Through many experiences, I’ve got my freedom and it was the most wonderful thing ever happened.

Then, after 2 mind-changing years, I  had to say Goodbye to all the opportunities, the new exciting career in journalism and to my boyfriend. What was the hardest is to come back home having my citizen-of-the-world mentality. Having no rights again and no freedom of speech. Having most of the people around me depressed and poor. I was depressed too for a year, but after all, I found my new path and faith.

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Dean (4) (@danydin) 5 years, 11 months ago ago

why did you went back?

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Mitchell (0) (@msparks311) 6 years ago ago

Waking up and realizing that I’m no longer there hero in my own narrative, but the villain, actively seeking my distinction. Still working on this one. 

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Cherish McCann (1) (@Cherish-McCann) 6 years ago ago

I would have to say the hardest thing I have ever had to overcome is a heartbreak. The feeling is horrible and it makes me sad just thinking about it..  unless you’ve experience a true heartbreak you don’t know the pain. 

-Its also interesting to me that you fall in love with someone and the outcome it either going to be great and bring you happiness or its going to be horrible and sad… Is there a happy medium? 

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Melanie (1) (@MaryJane12131931) 6 years ago ago

Yes of course there is a happy medium. Most relationships in life are not at all about the one-dimensional fantasy of romance and “falling in love”. Every relationship we share is a learning experience whether your subjective experience from it is that of emotional pain or of great joy. 

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