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Discovering Blessings on the Broken Path: Navigating Life's Unexpected Hurdles

I believe that we all have experienced moments where, as we are journeying through life, we find ourselves at a fork in the road. Hitting unexpected detours, or stuck in a pothole on the road we couldn't see because it is storming, and when we think it couldn't get any worse, as we get out of the car to assess how bad the damage is, a passing car hits a stagnant pool of water that drenches us. Left covered in gross muddy water, wet, and unsure of what to do. Ugh, Can you imagine it? You know that feeling of extreme despair, where you feel stuck asking God "why"...


Why am I here?

Why is this happening?

Why did the path lead me in this direction?

What else can go wrong?


Vanessa L. Bryant, photo by Whit Hawkins Photography

Yes, we all can expect that life's journey will not always be straight; we understand that our path is full of twists and turns, often leading us in directions we never expected to travel. Along this broken road, we encounter uncertainties, fears, and obstacles that can truly shake us to our core. However, in these challenging moments, we must remain open to the possibilities of the blessings we can discover by surrendering to the process. Allowing for growth like never before.


As Arnold Schwarzenegger once said,

"Your struggles usually develop your strength. When you go through hardships and decide not to surrender, that is strength."


If this sounds like you, I want to tell you that I see you. I fully understand that this isn't an easy concept, and it's not natural for us to jump immediately into optimism when faced with hardships. It is a skill set that has to be developed, and while it is something that I wholeheartedly believe in, it is a muscle that I have also had to work to build. I am often asked, "How do you remain so positive, Vanessa?" or "How can you find the silver lining within this situation?". And the truth is it doesn't usually happen right away. Sometimes, I have to sit with the situation and allow myself to feel every emotion as it comes up: anger, frustration, sadness, disappointment, heartbreak, and discouragement before I am ready to take that next step. Allowing myself to feel those emotions helps me engage in the surrender because I allow myself to process my feelings. Take advantage of this step! Do not try to rush past these emotions. If you do, you risk engaging in toxic positivity that can lead to resentment or unresolved emotions. The last thing you want to do is move forward on your journey, and the ghost of the past comes back to haunt you, and now you are left to deal with the same hurdle you thought you once overcame.


That said, I have discovered that there becomes a critical moment where you have to ask yourself, what is the next best step to get out of this situation? Or what is the next best step to feeling more empowered in this situation? Because in some situations, there is no way out, only through!


If we don't start to move into the mindset of: "What is my next step?" it's too easy to stay stuck in the why.


It's too easy to allow defeat to start to take control, and pretty soon, you are deeper than you were to begin with, and the mountain feels steeper and steeper to climb.


I want to offer you three ways to embrace your next best step.



Tip #1 - Facing Fear


Fear is a natural response to uncertainty and change. However, it's essential to know that fear rarely provides rational thought. Therefore, instead of letting fear paralyze you, acknowledge it and use it as a catalyst for courage. Take a small step outside your comfort zone, challenge your fears with facts, and prove you can overcome obstacles. Facing our fears often requires us to practice resilience, understanding that setbacks are a natural part of life.




Therefore, we cultivate resilience by adapting to challenges, learning from failures, and bouncing back stronger each time.


Resilience can look so many different ways; going back to the situation I gave at the beginning of this blog with us wet, covered in the mud, car stuck in the middle of the road, realizing that help or a way out of this situation may not happen soon. Without any quick solution, resilience may look like staying calm, taking deep breaths to assess the situation, protecting yourself, being patient, and allowing yourself to lean into this time to reflect on past situations you've overcome and draw strength from those experiences. Then, before you know it, the rain subsides, and a truck arrives to help you. Despite the setback, you embodied the resilience needed to weather life's storms with grace and strength.



Tip #2 - Embrace The Unknown


When faced with the unknown, it's important to cultivate a mindset of curiosity and openness. Again, this is not easy. It can be hard to be curious and open about why life seems to be falling apart. However, if we view it as an opportunity for personal development, we can surrender to the possibilities.







"Growth demands a temporary surrender of security." – Gail Sheehy

As we embrace the unknown, we often discover opportunities that may not have been possible on a familiar path. As we courageously embrace the unknown, developing a mindfulness practice that allows us to stay present and grounded in the moment, not in the past and not too far into the future is essential. Focusing on the here and now allows you to navigate uncertainty with clarity and resilience rather than getting lost in worries about the future.


Tip #3 - Find Meaning


Adversity is the most influential teacher. It offers insights and opportunities that are unique and invaluable to our human experience. Sometimes adversity uncovers depths of ourselves that we wouldn't have otherwise known and experienced. Other times, it leads us to discover our true purpose. I firmly believe in this; every significant moment of my life that required a pivot has allowed me to find new meaning in my life. Including becoming and author, entrepreneur of Soulfully Spoken Co, and curating Unleashed Summit. It has allowed me to have a deeper understanding of my purpose, and it all starts with the question, "What is this situation trying to teach me?"



This question may be difficult to answer right away, but it encourages deep introspection, helping you uncover valuable lessons. It also encourages a mindset of growth and learning, guiding you toward a deeper understanding of yourself and the world around you.


The self-discovery that led me to where I am today all began with one of the most challenging moments of my life, where I was forced to ask myself, what is the silver lining, what am I supposed to learn from this and by doing so I found a treasure that is beyond what I could imagine. I discovered my true worth. I discovered my purpose unattached to titles and accolades or accomplishments. I found a deep desire to help people navigate life's challenges and help them feel empowered in all areas of their becoming and unbecoming. Not only that, my faith in God grows deeper and deeper, which always leads me to a path of meaning and worth. One of my favorite passages that I lean to when the road I am on feels like an uphill climb, uncertain, overwhelming, and discouraging, is Proverbs 3:5, "Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; but in all your ways submit to him, and he will make your paths straight."


So, even when the path feels full of constant twists and turns, I can have faith that God will make my paths straight and that it is all working for the greater good.


Don’t Give Up


Friends, above all when you find yourself on the broken path, trust that there is a blessing waiting for you on the other side. One of my favorite poems by John Greeley Whittier goes like this...


"When things go wrong as they sometimes will, when the road you're trudging seems all uphill,

when the funds are low and the debts are high, And you want to smile, but you have to sigh,

When life is pressing you down a bit, Rest if you must, but do not quit.


Life is strange with its twist and turns, As everyone of us sometimes learns And many a failure comes about

When he might have won had he stuck it out;

Don't give up though the pace seems slow--

You may succeed with another blow.


Success is failure turned inside out,

The silver tint of the clouds of doubt,

And you never can tell just how close you are,

It may be near when it seems so far;

So stick to the fight when you're hardest hit--

It's when things seem worst that you must not quit.


For all the sad words of tongue or pen

The saddest are those: It might have been!"


So friends, I say to you today, "rest if you must, but do not quit." Every step you take, is a step in a forward direction. In the midst of life's chaos and challenges, I want to remind you that Soulfully Spoken is here to be a beacon of hope and inspiration. I am so excited to introduce our newly launched website and offerings. Soulfully Spoken Co. is dedicated to empowering individuals who find themselves on the broken path, navigating through the uncertainties and hurdles that life throws their way.


Through the resources that now include 1:1 coaching (as I have completed my Master Certified Professional Coaching program), workshops, events, and community, we aim to provide a sanctuary for individuals seeking solace, inspiration, and guidance during their darkest moments.


Drawing from the depths of human experience and resilience, I am committed to helping you uncover the blessings hidden within life's challenges because I believe that every setback is an opportunity for self-discovery and transformation. I encourage you to check out the new website and get signed up for one of our upcoming events, or inquire about life coaching sessions!!



Our next offering is going to be held March 23rd.


Soulfully Spoken will be hosting a Women's Empowerment Brunch centered on networking, community, and exploring our next best steps for the second quarter of the year through powerful manifestation collage exercises.


Join us, to learn more click here. Reserve your spot as space is limited. I look forward to seeing you soon.



"Courage is not the absence of fear, but the triumph over it." - Nelson Mandela



Soulfully,



2 comments

2 Comments


I'm so proud to be an unleashed woman! Let your light shine like a lighthouse in the middle of a storm. Use your gifts to continue to up lift and speak life into others!

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Such a beautiful post. Thank you for reminding me to appreciate and find the blessings when it seems impossible ❤️

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