“Nothing in life is so hard that you can’t make it easier by the way you take it.” – Ellen Glasgow
I am sure you have been bit frustrated and aggravated before by someone who, when you told them how badly things in your life were going, said something like, “Oh, it’s not that bad.” Words like those can make us feel invalidated, as if our feelings are not valued, as if they are simplifying something that seems incredibly complicated and important to us. The problem for me is that almost every time this has happened, nearly every time that I have felt like the world is collapsing and I am out of control and someone has said something like that, that person has been right–things have not been nearly as bad as I have imagined them being.
Those I know who tend to have the greatest sense of balance in their lives always recognize when a situation is grave or difficult, and yet they deal with it as simply an ordinary thing to deal with. They do not attempt to fool themselves by undermining the importance of what is going on, and they do not lie to themselves by saying “this does not matter.” But they go about dealing with it in as positive a way as possible–recognizing that this, too, shall pass… and while it is here, it is not going to ruin their life or their peace of mind.
Thus it is that our own perspectives tend to be the most important element of anything that happens in life. We face trials that are difficult, that leave us feeling hopeless and helpless, but it is within us to rise above them–to see these problems from a more objective viewpoint so that we can see the silver linings that all clouds bear. And when life gets difficult, in those difficulties, we have the opportunity to learn and grow and evolve as humans and as spiritual beings.
We are in a world that is wonderfully created to provide us with challenges that can help us to grow, and it is up to us to recognize them as such and take advantage of them when they come.
Questions to consider:
How do we learn that difficulties are things that can overwhelm us, as opposed to things that can help us to grow?
Think of someone who always sees the worst in everything. Is that person happy? What makes that person see things the way that he or she does?
How might you remind yourself the next time that you undergo difficulties that there is something positive in them?
For further thought:
“It’s not what they do to you, it’s what you do with what they do to you, that counts.” – Jean-Paul Sartre