Finding Peace and Growth Amidst Challenges

Finding Peace and Growth Amidst Challenges December 28, 2023


Swamp thing -courtesy of Canva

With the door to 2024 swinging open and the challenges of 2023 quickly dissolving into the past, I find myself reflecting on how to talk about what I’ve experienced. It’s been a year! I could easily describe 2023 as a feral swamp thing who tore through my life with a vengeance, leaving slime and mud as its signature – and there would be truth to that story. But it’s all about perspective, isn’t it? And perspective is a choice.

The fact is, 2023 gently (and not so gently) prodded me to find my way to peace when life was harsh and unyielding. She insisted I love beyond reason and logic, that I maintain hope when there seemed to be none available, and that I see life through the windows of the eternal rather than fixating on any one particular moment. She has been a determined and unrelenting teacher who demanded my full and undivided attention, insisting that I acknowledge my own limitations and learn to accept them with whatever compassion and grace I could muster.

2023 challenged me to talk less about my beliefs and do more living from them. I’m both exhausted by the lessons and inspired by the outcomes.

What was your year like, and what story will you tell about 2023?

Understanding the Power of Perspective

For many, 2023 was a year of challenges and unanticipated hardships. Yet, it’s in the framing of these experiences that we find our power. Just like the metaphorical ‘swamp thing’ I described, difficulties sometimes seem to tear through our lives, leaving a trail of distress. However, shifting our perspective allows us to retroactively see these challenges not only as destructive forces but as catalysts for personal growth and peace.

Embracing Life’s Hardships as Teacher

Life’s harshness can often feel overwhelming. The key to making peace with the challenges lies in understanding that these hardships are not just obstacles but opportunities for deep learning. In moments of despair, it’s essential to cultivate an unreasonable love – a love that persists despite the circumstances. Hope, too, becomes a crucial element. In 2023, many of us learned to find hope in the darkest of times. This isn’t just wishful thinking; it’s a strategic and resilient approach to life’s unpredictability.

Seeing Through the Windows of the Eternal

One powerful lesson I’ll take from 2023 is the importance of viewing life not as a series of isolated events but as part of a larger, eternal journey. Adopting this perspective can help us avoid getting bogged down by the minutiae of daily struggles. It’s not an easy perspective to take on because it requires us to be more objective about our human experience and its limitations. It’s vital to meet human frustration with compassion and grace. This acceptance of human limitation doesn’t mean resignation; it’s an act of self-love and understanding that paves the way for personal growth. If we can remind ourselves that we are eternal beings and that our souls are wise beyond this physical experience, the ‘soul self” is able to guide us to the learnings available from our human experiences. This soul-level guidance helps us step more deeply into compassionate self-love and even personal forgiveness.

Living Your Beliefs

Talk is cheap, as the saying goes. The past year challenged many to align their actions more closely with their beliefs. This shift from talking to doing is a powerful step toward authenticity and integrity. It’s about making your life a true reflection of your values and principles. Living this way allows us to experience the growth, resilience, and strength that comes from overcoming the challenges we encounter.

Your Story for 2023

As we reflect on the past year, consider what narrative you choose to write about your experiences. How have your challenges shaped you? In what ways have you grown? Your story of 2023 can be one of tenacity, learning, and hope, a testament to your adaptability, strength, and persistence. The way we frame our experiences will significantly influence our perception and emotional response to them, now and in the future. Let’s choose to see 2023 not just as a year of hardships but as a period of spectacular opportunity for personal growth.

About Rev. Dr. Ahriana Platten
Two passions led Dr. Platten to work in parallel career fields for more than thirty years: Spirituality and Entrepreneurship. Her unique system for blending these interests has allowed her to teach and travel across North America, South America, Asia, Africa, Europe, and the Middle East. As the founder of, she’s a courage-builder who helps people master the art of living an authentic, purpose-filled life, and a respected mentor for entrepreneurs and spiritual leaders alike. You can read more about the author here.

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