Back to Back Issues Page
Insights: Challenge - or Gift?
March 24, 2009

Challenge - or Gift?

“You gain strength, courage, and confidence by every experience in which you really stop to look fear in the face. You must do the thing which you think you cannot do.”

- Eleanor Roosevelt

Opportunities for personal growth often present themselves in the most unlikely forms.

If, like me, you believe that our purpose on Earth is to experience personal growth, then you may wonder why life, at times, seems so hard, so unfair, or so discriminating?

Ask yourself this

If you are currently experiencing difficulties in your life, then I would ask you, respectfully, to do something that may, at first, seem a little strange. I want you to ask yourself:

“How is this challenge that I am experiencing actually a gift to me?”

Now, I’m the first to admit that if you’ve recently become divorced, redundant, or seriously ill, for example, trying to conceive of such a happening as a ‘gift’ may seem, at best, counterintuitive and at worst downright offensive!

Nonetheless, I would ask you to keep an open mind about this while I share with you a story. Then, perhaps, you will come round to my way of thinking.

The moving story of Sasha X

One of the most moving true personal stories I ever heard was the story of Sasha Xarrian, daughter of a devote Mormon family from Utah in the US.

Sasha got married at the age of 19, contrary to her wishes but in faithfulness to her religion, to a returned Mormon missionary. During the course of their marriage, she and her husband were to move, first to Chicago and, later, to Baltimore in Maryland.

After bearing six children in the first nine years of her marriage – and living most of it in virtual poverty – her relationship with her husband began to disintegrate and she began to question the contradictions between the church doctrines and the things she was witnessing first hand.

Sasha’s husband became unfaithful and despite Sasha’s desire to divorce him, the church intervened to support him and barred Sasha from entering the church with her children. Sasha’s continuation with divorce proceedings resulted in the bishop of her ward banning her and her children from any of the church activities.

It was the ultimate insult for Sasha, who took the bold decision to take her children and move away.

Sasha’s husband – and the divorce proceedings – began to get really nasty and vindictive, and her attempts to settle out of court came to nothing as the church put its considerable weight behind her husband.

At that point she took the decision to leave the only support group she had ever known – the Mormon Church.

Alone, excommunicated by the church and her family, with no money and with six children to support, Sasha was about to embark on a hellish seven-year journey, often taking her to near breaking point.

A powerful secret

Then, one day, during her search for deliverance from all the pain and suffering, Sasha decided to attend an evening class where she met a lady called Yvette, who, over a period of a few months, introduced her to a powerful secret:

Look for the gift in everything that seems unfavourable in your life and realize that the gift is the reason. When you see the gift, the pain disappears – like magic.

What Sasha then did was almost inconceivable. She wrote a letter of thanks to her ex husband citing all the unpalatable things he had done and how each one of them had been a gift - serving to help her grow and develop as a person! She ended the letter…

“Thank you… I now realize I can be proud of who I am and who I was.”

Today, Sasha is the epitome of what most would regard as a success story. She is supremely happy and wealthy and spends her life helping others to succeed.

Gifts in disguise

The point of this story is to try to help you realize that difficulties, or challenges in life, though they may, at the time, seem like unpleasant or even horrific experiences – are actually gifts!

In everything that appears to be bad, there is good.

I’d like to ask you now to take a look at the difficulties and challenges that you have faced or may be facing at present, in a different way. Can you see the gift that you are being presented with?

If so, you are all set to grow into a wiser, more powerful and more inwardly content person.

Have a wonderful week.

With warm regards,


Copyright New Insights Africa. All rights reserved

New Insights Africa Life Coaching Skills Training - Putting an Extraordinary Business within reach of Passionate People.

If you think you are Life Coach material why not study, at your own pace and in your own time, with New Insights Africa? If you have the passion, we have the skills, knowledge and support to offer you. Please visit our website.

If a friend forwarded you this newsletter and you would like to subscribe please click on the link below:

Subscribe to Insights

Back to Back Issues Page