I met a guy. His name is Ganesha. Actually, it’s God Ganesha. I met him at the Art Institute of Chicago on Sunday afternoon, and it appears that we hit it off quite well- in my opinion at least. And didn’t say anything to make me think otherwise. In fact, he didn’t really say much at all. A man of few words, I guess, and maybe a little shy.
When I first saw him I swore we’d met before but couldn’t place him, nor did he provide any details of our possible previous encounter. Perhaps he just reminds me of someone? We didn’t spend too much time together nor did we exchange information; however, he did allow me to take his photo, which was nice of him. Call me crazy but I have a good feeling that this was the beginning of a beautiful friendship and our paths will cross again. Still, I swear we’ve met before. Hmm.
God Ganesha: Remover of Obstacles. The Hindu Lord of Beginnings, Lord of Obstacles. We all ‘know him’ and know him quite well indeed. As I come to the end of Eat. Pray. Love. and finally able to making it through the final chapter of Indonesia, I am reminded of the beauty that comes along with each and every obstacle. Most times we don’t recognize the beauty until the obstacle is overcome, but it’s always there. Always. See the beauty lies within us and around us. It’s in the strength and perseverance that we gather and in the tears that we may (need) to cry.
“Remind yourself that this is only temporary. The pain is only temporary.” My former yoga instructor used to say this during those difficult poses and since then I’ve learned to introduce it into my outside-yoga class vocabulary. I cannot tell you how many times I’ve reminded myself this is only temporary to get me through a mini-anxiety attack.
Obstacles seem like a universal concept these days, especially in the lives of (most) twentysomethings. When people ask me how I’m doing I tend to respond with a “Well.” or “Fine.” only to be followed by a “Good days and bad days.” This is the most honest and accurate response for the twentysomething year old dreamer (lost) in the big city that I am.
Unfortunately I’m not the only twentysomething going through this. Right now it seems to be the common factor amongst my circle of friends. Libby, Laura, and Julie are just a few of the ones experiencing the good days & bad days curse. The only thing worse than dealing with this yourself is seeing people you love under the dreadful curse. But this too shall pass. I promise you, girls, it will pass.
What would life be without challenges, without obstacles? Who would we be if it wasn’t for the struggles and the fears we’ve overcome?
I was riding the elevator last night after coming home from my volunteer shift at the hospital and caught the tail-end of a conversation between (what I presume to be) a couple. The guy said, “I might as well just go for it since I have nothing to lose. I mean why not?” I minded my own business, but after he stepped out and said “Have a good night”, my “You too” ended up being followed by a “I agree. I say go for it.” (Having absolutely no idea what ‘it’ is.) I’m guessing ‘it’ wasn’t the easy decision in the world to make and ‘it’ may bring challenges to his life too. But as he acknowledged, he has nothing to lose.
That’s how I felt when I moved to Chicago. Why not? The opportunity was in front of me and the only decision I had to make was “Yes” or “No”. Of course “Yes” came with a lot of follow-up decisions (ie. where to live, how much to pay in rent, when to move in) and many life-altering changes, but “No” would be a lifetime worth of ‘what if’ and regrets galore.
Aha! Now I remember God Ganesha. He’s been with me for many years, but I’ve never seen his face. He’s the breeze I feel when the world seems calm on a cool summer evening. He’s the voice I hear in the form of my final thought before falling asleep at night, and the sunlight through my window when I wake each morning. The breeze, the voice, and sunlight always remind me that any anxiety that may surface will pass. Afterall, “it’s only temporary.”
Obstacles are part of the journey. They are thrown into our pathway forcing us to re-examine what we’re fighting to achieve. Sometimes reassurance is gained through the challenge and other times reconsideration points us in a new direction. No matter what the outcome may be, it’s a guarantee that God Ganesha is by our side bringing us to a new beginning.
There is nothing permanent except change. ~Heraclitus