How does one face difficult periods in his or her life? What if those difficult periods are long in duration, possibly lasting years?
The optimist always believes that the sun will come out tomorrow. This creates a more positive inner feeling – a far healthier state of mind that only contributes to one’s ability to persevere through whatever darkness is being experienced.
This reminds me of the quote by Winston Churchill: “When going through hell, keep going.”
We cannot know how long the darkness will last, only that there is light somewhere down the road. Yin and yang follow each other.
Where the pessimist believes he is the realist, he will create the perpetual darkness (even if only in his mind) through a poor attitude, lack of effort, blame of circumstance (on everything from his parents to the government to the gods), etc., leading to the inevitable giving up. The only way to lose is by giving up.
Never give up, never quit on yourself. The tide always turns; it’s just a matter of when.
In my opinion, to think or say “I can’t wait until this is over so I can get on with my life”, is a total disregard of our Source, Creator, God, Allah (or whatever name you are most comfortable with). Every moment, regardless of the circumstances, is your life.
We don’t just live during the good times. They are simply one aspect of life.
Every difficult experience, no matter how tragic or long-lasting, is an opportunity to learn, grow, and possibly to correct your course. By experiencing bitter we acquire a greater appreciation of sweet.
Instead of asking, ”Why me?” or believing you are somehow cursed and things never go your way, it is far more productive to ask, “What can I learn from this?” and to be grateful for the challenge and the opportunity to realize more about yourself and to find meaning for your life. A higher level of faith results from knowing that there is a purpose for all of it – you just may not see it as soon as you’d like.
We don’t know what is best for us, nor what the future may bring. As it’s said in the old Rolling Stones song: “you can’t always get what you want, but you get what you need.”
Take a good look at the memorable events in your life. What did each lead to? What were the ultimate results? By understanding cause and effect in our lives and recognizing the patterns that are getting undesirable results, we break them if we choose. The mindless masses are blind to this. Therefore, see history repeating itself endlessly.
The time to prepare for battle is not during the war. Panic strikes hardest at the unprepared. Spend your time wisely.
By continuing to train both your body and mind you will always be better prepared the darkest times and whatever life throws at you than if you don’t. The constant but voluntary efforts you make in your practice – challenging yourself and accepting the natural flow of gradual progress – will lead you closer and closer to who you really are. Then apply the same attitude and effort in all that you do and you will begin to see miracles in every moment. Gratitude is certain to flow freely once this occurs.
Sincere gratitude leads to happiness. Is that not what we are all pursuing?