The Obstacle is the Path

Good morning my friends and may your Friday be joyful. Today, I would like to share with you a strange, mysterious proverb: “The obstacle is the path.” At a glance, this proverb makes little sense. An obstacle is an obstacle. How does it become a path?

There seem to be many ways to interpret this saying. Perhaps it simply means that we are to exhibit perseverance when faced with obstacles and sometimes literally walk through them. Perhaps it suggests that we are called to face, examine and encounter the obstacle, not avoid it, and that in doing so, we’ll learn and grow in ways that wouldn’t have been possible if our path was smooth.

And perhaps it means something altogether different: that if we only change our perspectives and open our minds, what we perceive as a problem, might actually carry within it a seed of a solution or even of an understanding that our path is meant to be very different from what we initially envisioned. May you be open to seeing and receiving beauty of this new, unexpectedly revealed path. And this is my wish for you.

If you enjoyed reading this piece, you might also want to read “Catching Myself“, “At the Intersection of Art and Writing“ and “Little Blessings” series. You will find more essays on my homepage, MariaFafardWrites


Hello, my name is Maria Fafard and I am delighted to meet you! I read old books, travel to thin places, think about meaning of life and write about all of these things. I care about people, ideas, and books, believe in power of liberal arts, try to nurture creativity in others and myself, and strive to live a meaningful life. I believe that travel in the physical world is often a symbol for seeking in the realm of mind and spirit, and that wherever we are, countless gifts of joy and wonder are offered to us every day – but we have to be present enough to look up and accept them.

If you have enjoyed reading my blog posts, you can follow me here on WordPress (by scrolling up, locating a ‘Follow the Blog via Email’ section on the right of this essay, inputting your email into the window and clicking on the ‘Follow’ button.), on Medium, and on Twitter (@mariafafard). Thank you and I am looking forward to talking with you on your favorite platform!

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