Our chief obstacle is our primary stumbling block, the focus of our fears and illusions, something we deeply believe on a gut level to be true, but isn’t. We can also have a secondary and tertiary obstacle, etc. See Michael Teachings Basics for more information.
The chief obstacle is set during what the Michael teachings call the third internal monad, which is a life passage when one separates from the family and develops a sense of oneself as an independent adult. Its progress is often accompanied by “leaving the nest”; today, many cannot do that for financial reasons, but are still becoming responsible adults. Throughout much of history, several generations lived under one roof, so moving out is not a requirement.
The third internal monad can begin as early as age fourteen. It is often in motion at fifteen. Sixteen is the most common age, and it usually begins no later than seventeen. It can take four or five years to complete, depending on the individual, and even as long as ten, but at least two or three.
The chief obstacle can solidify when the third internal monad begins. In fact, the choice of the chief obstacle can mark the beginning of the third internal monad. However, it can also take a year or two of struggle to sort that out, especially in someone who began the monad at fourteen or fifteen. The most common age when the chief obstacle is solidified is seventeen, followed by eighteen, but over a quarter of sixteen-year-olds have chosen theirs. The secondary obstacle usually solidifies about a year later. Michael through me usually doesn’t dictate obstacles for people under eighteen, although I do check with them for teenagers who are sixteen or older. If you received a chart from me that says “Not Applicable” under the obstacles, you can order an update when the person reaches eighteen. The status of the obstacle may also become clear through observation.
Die Quelle channel Varda Hasselmann channels the obstacles for children. Although Michael channel Chelsea Quinn Yarbro maintains that the chief (and secondary) obstacles (she calls them “features”) don’t solidify until the third internal monad, they can often still be observed in children; it’s just that the person has up to eighteen years to play with them and maybe change them, which is why I leave them off the chart. I could channel the currently manifesting obstacle for those younger with the caveat that they might change, but the server-cast king who dictates charts for me prefers not to. One problem is that parents might create self-fulfilling prophesies that lock children into dysfunctional behaviors because they expect them.
There’s a similar situation with centers, which lock in at the second internal monad, about ages two through four. I still channel them for babies, with the caveat that about 10% of the time, centering changes after the monad is completed. For example, a soul chooses intellectual centering but then there is unexpected brain damage, so it switches to moving center.
I asked Michael how often the chief and secondary obstacles remain the same from birth to age eighteen, and got 52%. At least one of them remains the same in 67% of the cases.
To further zoom in on changes during childhood, I asked what percentage of the time do both the chief and secondary obstacles remain the same from ages ten to eighteen. I chose ten because that gives plenty of time for the personality, including the other overleaves, to settle in during childhood and for the issues to come into focus. I got 73%, and in 77% of cases, at least one of them does.
Let’s look at ages thirteen to age eighteen. I chose thirteen because adolescence begins the separation from parents often marked by rebellion and perhaps cycling through several obstacles, trying them out. Some adolescents seem to be in self-destruction one month, stubbornness the next, etc., while others are more stable. The percentages are 83% and 89%.
If you have a child demonstrating one of the obstacles, remember the underlying fear. With self-deprecation, you might express your faith in their abilities. With self-destruction, show them that they are safe and that you have everything under control. With martyrdom, assure them that they are already worthy and don’t have to prove that they deserve good things. Use consequences rather than punishment. For stubbornness, let them participate in family choices. With greed, give them abundant love and show them that there’s enough in all aspects of life. With arrogance, model that constructive criticism can be useful and that one need not be defensive. And with impatience, introduce them to the richness of the present moment. Demonstrate that with good time management and prioritization, there’s plenty of time.