An Open Letter to Whatever is Blocking Me in Life


Dear Obstacle,

I told my friend that I would write a blog post about you.  She saw my Instagram post and wanted me to explain what I meant by "The Obstacle is the Path."  I sat down several times to write a post explaining this expression to her.  And I got stuck.  Every. Single. Time.  You got in my way, Obstacle.  You do that.  Here I am, just living my life, doing things the way I always do them.  And boom, you plant yourself in front of me.  Why do you do that?  It's so annoying.  I just want to keep walking down my path without problems like you getting in my way.

It's interesting, because I don't always notice you there at first. I'm usually distracted by all the things I think are supposed to happen.  The things that I believed were on the path in front of me, up ahead, just waiting for me to arrive.  But eventually I realize I can't keep going down that path, because you are in my way.  This is point when I get angry and sad.  GODDAMMIT OBSTACLE! My life was supposed to follow the path of x, y and z! Move before you mess it all up!

And of course you don't move.  You just sit there.  Stupid, frustrating Obstacle that isn't supposed to be there.  I always fight you.  I like to be the one in control of my life.  Not some Obstacle that I didn't choose.  But you are relentless and stubborn and intrusive.  It's been a rare occasion in my life that I pushed you out of the way and forged ahead on the path of my choice.  It was usually a messy battle that cost me dear things.  And I never got my same path back anyway.

There have been times when I can't get past you and I just wander around not going anywhere for a long time.  You confused me.  I was heading a certain direction and well, now I don't know where I'm going.  So I just kind of numb myself and walk around in little circles and keep moving so I feel like I'm doing something.  I've gone on like this for years before.  Before something snapped.  Before I couldn't take the numbness anymore.

But you know what, Obstacle? When I look back at our relationship, my favorite times were those when I took pause... and looked at you.  When I moved closer to you, with curiosity and an open heart.  When I listened to what you had to say.  It was scary because you were asking me for something.  Something that I had to give up.  And that something is always the same.  That something is this - all that I thought was "supposed to be."  The plans I made for myself.  The x, y and z that were in front of me.

This is when it hits me.  YOU are the path.  You are not the path I was walking before.  You are not the path I was planning to walk.  But you are the new path I am meant to be walking at this point in time.  I can't avoid you.  You are my present moment.  Whether I like it or not, you are bringing me into my future.  I can fight you, numb myself to you, or accept you.  And accepting you is ALWAYS what has brought my favorite outcomes.

I realize I have an apology to make to you Obstacle.  I'm sorry for getting so angry at you and for fighting with you at times.  You are the one who reminds me to live right now, and not in my future plans.  You are the one that pushes me to move with life, not against it.  You are the one who wakes me up and gets me to take a risk. You are the one that causes me to let go of my expectations so that I can experience gratitude for what I have.  You are the one that gives me a real shot at happiness in life.

And even though its hard to say this, Obstacle, maybe you could come back again sometime.