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'Where You Stumble, There Your Treasure Is'

Posted: 12/18/2012 11:42 am

Where is your treasure?

I write not of bank accounts or investments, but of what you value in your heart.

Please take a moment and reflect. What brings you a sense of wholeness and balance and joy? Where and how did you find it?

Joseph Campbell, a master scholar, teacher and story-teller of the 20th century, connects the discovery of spiritual riches with personal hardship and seeming misfortune.

"Mythology tells us that where you stumble, there your treasure is. There are so many examples. One that comes to mind is in The Arabian Nights . Someone is plowing a field, and his plow gets caught. He digs down to see what it is and discovers a ring of some kind. When he hoists the ring, he finds a cave with all of the jewels in it. And so it is in our own psyche; our psyche is the cave with all the jewels in it and it's the fact that we're not letting their energies move us that brings us up short. The world is a match for us and we're a match for the world. And where it seems most challenging lies the greatest invitation to find deeper and greater powers in ourselves" -- An Open Life: Joseph Campbell in Conversation with Michael Toms (1988)

My treasure is my children. Ages 7, 10, 19 and 23. I stumble often with them -- sometimes in major ways. Yet I have discovered solace and joy because of those stumbles. I had to face situations I sought to avoid, situations of conflict and loss. But through those experiences, I learned that perseverance and patience and love are always enough. Perseverance gives me a game plan when nothing seems promising. Patience gives me hope. And love opens the gates to my potential, which is another name for the eternal energy that resides in -- and unites -- all of us. (I call it God.)

For me, a stumble is an opportunity to gain deeper understanding, to grow, to get back up and try again.

My challenge to you, dear readers, is to write about your own stumbles and how they have helped you find your treasure.

Please use the comments section. I look forward to reading your stories.

Meantime, happy stumbling.

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