I saw this cartoon over on another blog, and found it to be an excellent illustration of how many of us see our problems - or our shortcomings (take your pick): Far bigger than they really are.
This cartoon speaks to me in another way: It illustrates how my prayers are answered, or rather: What happens when I focus, when I use my affirmations and set my worries and assumptions aside. The bottom picture shows a figure struggling up the slope and we see the next revelation: The goal is Right There, that it wasn't that difficult or far or huge or insurmountable - or even that lonely. And that realization, that the problem wasn't all that overwhelming after all, can come in a moment of calm, in a moment of meditation, or when the solution presents itself (and you can spend a minute feeling stupid :-) ).
Many of us expect solving a big problem or any problem to be difficult, to require a lot of effort and time and even some pain. This is our biggest illusion: Assuming life must be difficult. And yet, most problems resolve as simply as the cartoon suggests. The belief that life is not meant to be hard challenges us. We have been taught the opposite: Life is a struggle.
But what if the truth about life is that it is not a struggle? That life's true nature is to flow easily, gracefully, effortlessly and our true nature is to flow with it in the same manner? These are the thoughts of taoists and buddhists - and even mystics of other religions. The truth about life on Earth is not that it is hazardous (or even unfair), but that it is a safe place in which to express yourself as a unique being.
UPDATE: Sravana forwarded "The Art of Surrender" to me. It relates to the post above.