When the Student is Ready…

By Kathryn Barney

In Secrets of Six-Figure Women: Surprising Strategies to Up Your Earnings and Change Your Life, it says, “all problems — from a gnawing sense you could be making more to the gut-wrenching pain of staggering debt — have a purpose (p. 72).”

It’s a principle I’ve always known, but one I’ve had a hard time living.

I’ve been known to wallow in misery. I admit it. I have complained and whined and looked for pity. I’ve worked hard to overcome this natural tendency I have.

I am really learning to internalize, not just know, that each problem has a purpose. And each problem is relative.

For me, it’s not so hard to remember the law of relativity when it comes to financial matters. I find it astounding that I live in a time and place where we have a home, two cars, food (whatever food we want!) on the table at every meal, clothes and shoes appropriate for every season, and heat or cool air as needed. Not only does that place us in the top percentile of people living in the world today, but we are in the top percentile of people living ever in the history of time. So when I’m feeling frustrated about financial goals not being met, or not enough retirement saved, or whatever it may be, I remember that we really live in a huge amount of abundance.

However, other problems are a little more challenging for me to keep in perspective. My health is one of those. I have struggled with my health since about age 16. I have had auto-immune issues, multiple surgeries, depression, and other ailments. I have been very discouraged at times. Working hard to overcome them didn’t ever seem to help.

Over the last couple of years, I have tried hard to shift my focus to gratitude. Instead of seeing my health as an obstacle to reaching my goals, I started to see it as a stepping stone. (I honestly wasn’t sure how it could be a stepping stone, but I was determined to see it in that light anyway.) I started expressing thanks to Heavenly Father for blessing me with my health struggles. Honestly, I have learned so much from them! I have refined my soul and learned to turn to Him in so many ways.

After all, even health is relative. For the most part, I wasn’t confined to bed. Even if I had very limited ability to function each day, I was still able to do the most important thing: love and care for my family. I had full use of all of my limbs and all of my senses. Really, I had a lot to be grateful for.

As my thinking shifted, so did my life. I have tried dozens of diets, therapies, and healing modalities over the years. Nothing seemed to work. But once I started being thankful for the struggle, answers started slowly coming into my life.

“When the student is ready, the teacher appears.”

And the teachers appeared. I stumbled across new information that has changed everything for me. I am healthier right now than I ever have been! I am enormously grateful to have been given the chance to be healthy, and I am even more grateful to have been given the chance to learn from health challenges for several decades.

Because all problems, even poor health, have a purpose.

Kathryn Barney
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