A Lifelong Lesson

Too often we are at odds with life. When things don’t go our way, we think there is something wrong. We fight with it, we complain about it, we detest it, we try to change it to something we will be happy with. We almost have a love/hate relationship with it.

Yet difficulties are part and parcel with life. We don’t always get what we want in life. The universe doesn’t revolve around us and our needs. We fall ill, we get hurt, people die. These are the facts of life.

So the practice for this week is to change our relationship towards life and whatever it brings to us. It doesn’t mean we accept whatever comes passively, but rather we develop an understanding towards what happens in our life, we take responsibility for it, and we make choices that are not clouded by our perceived ideal of what life should be.

We refocus away from trying to change whatever is happening outside, and look first at whether there is anything that needs to be changed inside of us. Look into the ‘difficulty’ and ask yourself whether you are adding anything into the event to make it more difficult than it is.

Look into the difficulty and see if there is a lesson in it that needs to be learnt. How often do we go through difficulties wishing the difficult times would just go away? And how often of those times do we come out of the difficulty stronger and wiser, and possibly even grateful that we had gone through that experience because it’s taught us something about life and about ourselves?

Finally, trust in life. Difficulties never stay for long unless we prolong it in our minds and by our unskillful actions. Change will come whether you want them to or not. Trust that life will bring difficulties our way to sharpen our mind and soften our hearts, but life also brings miracles that awaken us to the truth of our existence.

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