Several times in our lives we are faced with a situation where problems, struggles and hardships seem to fill our day, overwhelm us and everything feels bleak and hopeless. It is during such times that it is important to remember these ten undeniable truths:
1) Pain and suffering help us grow
What doesn’t kill us can make us stronger. The old saying encapsulates this truth. Accept the hardship, explore the pain, and once the waves of sadness die down, you will be given a new lease on life. Even pain can be a wonderful teacher. Remember no matter what our tests are, we are not too weak to fight. God will not burden us with suffering more than we are able to bear.
“It’s not the load that breaks you down, it’s the way you carry it.”
– Lena Horne
2) Fears are an illusion
FEAR is False Evidence Appearing Real. Fears arise out of our own ignorance about Reality. Fears will only get stronger if we let it. We should always be in control of our fear and should not let it control us back. Fear can serve us, by keeping us alert in dangerous situations, but we must let fear know who’s the boss.
“F-E-A-R” has two meanings:
1. Forget Everything And Run…
2. Face Everything And Rejoice..!
We have to make the right choice.
“As soon as the fear approaches near, attack and destroy it.”
3) Nothing lasts forever
The worldly pain, pleasure, troubles, love, relationships, sufferings, joy, success, failure – they are all transitory, temporary or impermanent. Take joy in the good times and accept the bad times, for they, too, shall pass. Any being or thing that is born or created in time is conditioned by time and comes with an expiry date. Therefore they are subject to change and destruction in time. Time heals almost everything. Give time, time to do its job.
4) Struggles are nothing more than steps on the way to success
When we are pursuing our dreams there are bound to be struggles, trials and adversities. We must not resent them because they also teach us and we must learn from them. From struggle comes strength. We need to be patient, but we must remember that patience does not mean inaction. Patience means staying on track, and using each struggle as a stepping stone to realizing our dreams. It’s not going to be easy, but it will always be educating.
“Everybody at some point is going to have adversity. I think if we don’t learn from that, then it was just a punishment. But if we use it, then it becomes tuition.”
– Dr. Phil McGraw
“A gem is not polished without rubbing, nor a man perfected without trials.”
5) “Good” and “bad” depend on our outlook and perception
Life is a billion shades of gray, some darker, some lighter, but it’s never black or white. We may think that something we are doing is good, but if we end up tossing and turning in bed, unable to sleep, it means that our subconscious mind doesn’t necessarily agree. People aren’t bad, but they can do bad things. We should always try and understand why the person opposite us is doing what he or she is doing. They are also going through a struggle, which we may not be able to see.
6) We should change only that which we can change
Our present is the cumulative experiences of our total past and we cannot change a single moment of that. We can, however, change our perspective of those experiences. We should look at “bad” experiences from another point of view and we might realize that they weren’t all that bad to begin with. If we have managed to learn something out of our so called bad experiences, then they were not so bad at all. The cumulative experiences of our total past modified in the present become our future. So a positive change in our attitude and the quality of our action in the present will give us a better future.
7) We should treat ourselves with kindness
Accepting ourselves and knowing we are doing our best is good enough. If we have a tendency of self-deprecation, we should consider how we would feel if someone else told us these things. So we should be good to ourselves and we will start to feel a difference. Most importantly we must remember to forgive ourselves.
8) Nothing truly great is instant
If we could have everything we wanted instantly, we would lose our drive to grow and things that don’t grow end up decaying and dying away. Hence we need to practice patience and enjoy the ride.
9) Remember: Life’s an adventure
We should learn to take calculated risks. It will make us more creative and give us more confidence. Even if we fail a couple of times, we should get up and try again and not keep lying down. We need to get out of our comfort zone and we might discover true happiness…
10) Have humility
Humility can bring the understanding that problems are not as difficult as we perceive them to be. Being overconfident is as bad as being paralyzed with fear – but knowing ourselves, our ability and what it is that we are capable of, will give us a sense of ownership over our accomplishments and yet keep us humble and provide us with clarity.
“If your heart is bright, then even in a dark chamber there is blue sky. If your thoughts are gloomy, even in broad daylight cruel demons appear.”
– Hong Zicheng