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A Tough Pill to Swallow

Have you ever reached the place when you feel like you may be at your lowest point?  When you feel desperate, frustrated, fearful?

I did.

There has to be more than this, I thought.  But I didn’t do anything about it. I was afraid. I was uncertain.

Today as I was reading my buddy Steve’s blog at End The Grind , I read the story of one of his readers, Joe.  (If you have the time, I recommend you read Joe’s dilemma in his own words).

Joe has come to the place where a “good” life is not enough.  Sometimes when that happens, we face depression and all sorts of self-doubt because we wonder what right we have to be frustrated when so many other people have it so much worse off than we do.

You may be in that same place (or you may have experienced it already before). Whatever your situation, I’m here to give you a tough pill to swallow.  It lies in this truth:

There is no magic pill!

There is no easy way out of your obstacles, but that is the blessing of them.

I heard Cicely Tyson say in an interview recently that she treasures the negative experiences because after she has faced them and realizes that she’s still standing, she gains greater confidence and courage.

You have the same resolve within you. You can face your obstacles and learn to welcome them for where they will take you.

They are the locomotives of your life. They are the engines that drive the momentum and creativity of your soul. Without obstacles, we might never envision a new or better way.  Without obstacles, we might never imagine alternate options.

Without obstacles, we might never envision a new or better way.


Once you realize that there is no magic pill and no cavalry coming to rescue you, then you can rise to your own occasion. You can choose to be your own hero.

It all lies within. All that is left is the decision to do…and the will to do.  Take action and change your life. Don’t wait. Don’t think about it. Do it!

About Steve

Hi, I'm Steve Rice and my goal is to transform simple philosophical truths into practical fuel to revolutionize your life. It's not about self-help, it's about self-reliance. I show you how. Connect with me on Facebook or follow me on Twitter and let me know how I can help you.

  • It’s a tough pill to swallow, but one that leads to a quicker healing, indeed. I’ve had to swallow it a few times myself. Not really knowing what was going to come from the situation, but after the initial shock of it left me breathless; but the only way for me to overcome it was to face it head on.

    What often happens for many is they get caught in the scheme of thinking they won’t overcome the issue, and at the time it seems like the world is falling from underneath them. It’s important for people to know this one truth though; life’s storms, like natural storms are only temporary. They come to give us nourishment, lessons, and wisdom. When we ride the storm out to the other side there lies a rainbow, and the pot of gold is the magnificent gift of the lesson that’s left within us.

    Wonderful post, Steve! 🙂

    • Thanks, Deeone!

      It’s amazing how much drama we create with the stories we make up *about* whatever happens to us. We take it all so personally. 🙁 Doesn’t have to be that way.

  • Choose to be your own hero. What an awesome way to look at it.

    • Steve

      thanks so much for stopping by, Michelle. You know that the type of blogging I do, I’m preaching to myself first…I remember when I first realized that my life wouldn’t change unless *I* did something to change it. Big realization. It’s a simple shift, but a deep one with potentially profound implications.

  • Loved the post Steve!

    As I have always said- it is always in our mind…what we think, do or the way we act to any reaction or anything for that matter. Yes- there is no magic pill….all the magic is YOU and lies within you- you just need those eyes to see it 🙂

    I loved your words- Without obstacles, we might never envision a new or better way. Without obstacles, we might never imagine alternate options.- This is indeed true- we are given obstacles to learn from them, to overcome them, to bring out that inner power we have within ourselves, to find solutions to resolve them. This is exactly what helps in our inner growth and development and helps us evolve.

    Thanks for sharing 🙂

    • Steve

      Sometimes people see obstacles as “teachers” and that’s okay. I like to think of them as clarifiers…they help me clarify what I do and do not want and help me work toward something better.

  • Hi Steven
    Great post here. I think when many of us start on this personal development journey, on some level, we think we are going to be able to create some state of perfection where we wipe away all negative emotions and situations. We envision ourselves floating on a cloud of peace and perfection, never being bothered by anything going on around us, handling everything with grace and ease. Learning to accept that stuff is still going to happen and we may sometimes still have negative emotions and problems to deal with is not demonstrating a lack of faith in our ability to create great lives, but simply reframes these experiences as part of the game, possessing their own lessons and benefits.

    • Steve

      I watched a show on Oprah’s network last week. It was an interview with Jane Fonda. She said something that’s stuck with me. “We were not created to be perfect; we were created to be whole!” Powerful stuff.

      You are on it 100% Couldn’t have said it better. 🙂 Thanks for the kind comment.

  • Yes! The negative stuff can be a real blessing. I had to learn to take command of my spiritual life as a result of the negative stuff. Working as a partner with the various entities was important for me.

    Along with the command thing I had to learn to be still. Acting for the sake of acting wasn’t working for me. Asking for the next step and not acting until the next step on the path showed itself was the ticket for me. The tension of that place of non-action feels like sitting in mid-air with elastic bands pulling in all directions. I found that acting before it was time could just make obstacles more persistent. Waiting for the right time to act dissolved or transformed the obstacles.

    By flowing this way, many difficult aspects of my life were resolved better than I could have planned, and I met people who had missing pieces of my puzzle. The path keeps revealing itself and I act when it’s time to act. Not always perfectly but the point of all this isn’t perfection anyway but liberation.

    Actually, it’s a pretty fun way to do things!

    • Steve

      Wow…you’re right on track, Eric. I agree with you…learning to be still is one of the most important lessons I’ve ever learned. And I need to revisit it often. I don’t think people do so enough of the time.

      Taking action is another challenge I have shared with you. I’m a “go-getter” I want it done…yesterday. However there is a tension.

      The Course in Miracles says it this way: “Infinite patience produces immediate results” I meditate on that often.

      I like to think of this tension as being able to be comfortable with uncertainty. If you can get to that place, you can relax into the miracles in your life! 🙂

  • I wholeheartedly agree, Steve. Two years ago, I was in that place. When I started to take small actions, everything changed. I began to see possibilities. I changed my mindset from negative to positive.
    Now, things are going fine for me. I’m more confident that even if there are obstacles, I know that there’s a solution just waiting around the corner. Things change and if we constantly strive to look for better ways, then it will be for the better.
    It’s a tough, hard, and bitter pill to swallow but, you know, my trick is to wash it down with something sweet. 🙂

    • That’s the secret, isn’t it, Theresa? Taking small actions can turn the entire thing around. That’s the most powerful part–it changes your mindset. Bravo, to you!

      Thanks so much for swinging by my site. Hope to connect more going forward.

  • I have felt so low at certain times in my life that I never thought I would be able to pick myself up off the floor. At those times, I would have loved to swallow a magic pill so everything would work out all right — now.

    I don’t like obstacles. I don’t like embracing them. I don’t like seeing the gift in them. I don’t like having them in my life. Unfortunately, they still show up.

    When challenges do find their way into my life, I take a deep breath, then I take several moments to be still, and then I pray and invite Spirit into the situation. That’s when I know that everything will work out just fine.

    The value of challenges isn’t so much that I have grown. The biggest gift for me is that my faith in Spirit gets stronger every time I overcome one.

    • Steve

      That is an interesting experience. Even if we medicate our problems,they still show up because we haven’t dealt with the root issue. Your solution of immediately taking time to be still is brilliant. That is exactly as it is meant to be. In stillness, clarity is found. Love this: “The biggest gift for me is that my faith in Spirit gets stronger every time I overcome one”! Awesome.

  • There is always going to be something “more” we each want in life. When you are fighting to get to the next level (whatever that is for you), we experience the thrill of the journey.

    Once we get there, that spark fades, we are not content for long and need to set up the next phase of our progression.

    • Steve

      Hey, Jeff! It’s so great to see you here on the site again. (Course, maybe you’ve been lurking around and I didn’t know it) Either way, so grateful that you stopped to say, “hey”.

      Your insight is so simple and so profound all at the same time. Sometimes I feel like I should be having constant mountain top experiences. But you’re right…when we get to the top, we have to take a breath and then start laying the plans for the next phase.

  • Thanks Steve! 🙂 Yes, I stop by now and again….