Find the Gifts in the Challenges


By Vicky Westra

In life, we all face challenges.  It’s part of the human experience.  Believing that challenges should not be happening in our lives can cause us to suffer, as denial doesn’t allow us to fully accept what is happening.  That’s where we spent much of our time after we received the diagnosis of Autism for our daughter Gabbi at the age of 4.


At first, my husband Pier and I were in denial.  “How could this be happening to us??  We’ve tried to do the right things to lead a good life!”, we lamented.  After realizing that this was going to be a lifetime diagnosis for Gabbi, we moved into fear, what would it mean for our daughter or even for us and our future?  Fortunately, we didn’t stay there too long, as it’s definitely not a good place to hang out!  We started to move up the scale in terms of emotions, but still spent way too much time in what we now call “The Red Zone”, fluctuating between anger, worry and frustration.  This was certainly not how we wanted to live life!


What was this diagnosis and the challenges we were experiencing leading us towards?  Was this going to define the type of life we were going to have?  Was there something we should be learning through this process?  Well, I remember asking these questions of God, the Universe or whoever was listening to my cries.


Asking questions about our life can open the door to the answers we are seeking.


To receive more information about the questions we asked ourselves that we can all ask and expect to receive the answers to…and so much more, join our Shifter Membership program by going to

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