Adversities are inevitable in everybody’s life. No one is specially chosen. No one is an exception how ever great or ordinary. Overcoming them and dealing with the hang over frustrations, setbacks, depression and resistance is not all that difficult if addressed properly.
First and foremost is acceptance. Only when you accept you have a problem you can think of a solution. Natural happenings have no motive or attribute. It is man’s understanding, interpretation and conditioning that create labels like ‘good or bad’,’ right or wrong’, beautiful or ugly’. When ever you find yourself in one of those so called ’bad’ situations there are only three ways to it.
1. Waiting for the situation to change: Question yourself “is this likely to change?” Sometimes the answer is ‘yes’. For example when you are stuck in a bumper to bumper traffic jam with out an inch for you to move, however rushed you are for time, there is nothing you can do except wait for it to clear. But instead of getting impatient, restless and cursing out, may be you could turn on your radio and listen to some music, or just watch the people around you, take note of the weather outside, hum your favorite tune or even just appreciate the interior of your own vehicle. How many times have you done any of these? May be never! So the best possibility here is to change your attitude to the situation than trying to change the situation.
2. Changing the situation: When you have the capacity to do it, it cannot even be called adversity but just a short-time difficulty. You do not have to starve when your microwave conks out. You could always pick up a Subway sandwich! But if the situation is of your own making then own up the responsibility for it, learn from it and keep the experience as a lesson for future reference.
3. Changing your attitude and response to the situation: This is the best of the three. Most times we think we are going through a bad situation and meditate on ‘how bad it is’ instead of being thankful that it was not worse. This is not escapism but acceptance of reality and is shift of attitude. When we learn to change the way we look at things, things we look at also change! We are not talking of ‘half full, half empty‘ theory, but “ok, I have half in hand and what best can I get out of it”. You don’t gain anything by brooding over the absent empty half but you are losing out everything you could gain from the presently available half. Changing the language changes the meaning. Instead of asking” what have I lost in it?’ ask yourself “what can I gain from this?” Then suddenly there is so much clarity because the mind is not clouded with emotions but clear with ability to respond. Then instead of blaming something or someone for the situation, you automatically act with a great degree of ‘response-ability’. You understand that what you thought to be adversity is just your experience of a given situation and overcoming it is so easy because it is nothing more than choosing to experience the situation differently.
Try it out next time .You will realize that there is no more next time!
This is something we keep hearing very often around us.
“I wish I knew what to do.”
“Maybe I am not yet ready.”
“I just can’t decide.”
Oh, well! Most of us need that first push to do something which we have not done before. I went through it. I have long been wanting to start a blog/website to share the knowledge I have gained from many great spiritual teachers and my own experiences applying that knowledge into practice. I wanted to tell people, “Hey! It isn’t all that tough, after all if you can take a while everyday to practice a few tips” But then I didn’t know where to start. Then it happened. That first push. Thanks to the encouragement of a dear friend with similar interest, here I am. So the moral of the story is first you have to will it. And you realize that it is by HIS Will you are able to have the will to will it!
Let us say, you have a lot of money (Mmmm. Sounds good!). You also have the time to spare. You want to enjoy a vacation. You could afford anything from the breathtaking Himalayan magnitude to heartwarming Hawaiian beaches to dollar churning Vegas machines. Can you skip it all for a simple reason saying “I don’t know where to go”? What a shame!
None of us are always ready to take the next step. But we just have to when we have to. Life is not a static process. It is eternally dynamic. We were not there 100 years ago. We are now. We will not be there 100 years from now. But life goes on. On and on and on.
When it comes to doing something, people fall into categories. Some dare take the step. Some take the help of a guide who is knowledgeable and willing to share his knowledge. Some others hire someone to help them do it. But our participation at some level is definitely required. It is like this. You do not have to do anything to grow up. Eat food and the body grows. But then you definitely have to do something to get the food. You do not have to be a farmer and grow the food. Some one does it. Some one markets. But some one can not eat your food for your growth! You have to do it.
When you want to make a decision first prioritize your values. Your own values change with time. Your experiences can reveal your best moments; best in terms of values when you felt happy effortlessly; in terms of people that inspired you. Think of what you want to leave behind as a legacy — values for the children. Based on this, list your priorities. You have crossed the toughest step. After all there had been many moments when you thought it was difficult to take a decision. But then when you have clarity about priority it gets simpler. When you have to choose between two important issues, think clearly make a choice and do not regret. Otherwise you neither enjoy what you are doing nor are doing what you think you should have. Clarity makes you guilt-free. Your reward is the action itself. The confidence you have gained in doing it will lead to greater clarity in future. Suddenly you find it isn’t all that difficult to make decisions after all.
It is like a card game: you have no choice in your hand when the cards are dealt. The whole fun is playing the game even if it is bad hand. Where is the game if every one decides to scoot because the cards are bad? Just gamble. Be confident that winning is a sure possibility. Decide. Do it! You are the winner!