Center for Spiritual Living

“The Secret Purpose of Negativity” (07/23/23)

Rev. Mary Murray Shelton

Have you ever participated in a sport you really enjoyed? Or any activity, really, that you put effort into and saw genuine improvement? If so, you know that the journey to proficiency isn’t automatic. The growth of skills isn’t linear and paced. It goes in fits and starts. We spend a lot of time on the plateau, between advances, rather than in a constantly upward trajectory. And each time we hit one of those lulls, our coaches or mentors encourage us to increase our practice, or to persist without becoming discouraged.

Obstacles help us get stronger. Period. It’s our choice whether we let a negative experience stop us, or spur us onward. If everything were always easy, it would stop being fun. It would be completely predictable. It’s the challenge that makes it worthwhile as we grow stronger. How about finding some ways to appreciate the obstacles and challenges that seem negative, like losses and apparent failures? We’ll do this together today.

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