February 14

Nothing in life is so hard
that you can't make it easier
by the way you take it.

Ellen Glasgow


Today's Meditation:

Haven't we all been more than a little bit frustrated and aggravated by the people who, when we tell them how badly things are going in our lives, say something like, "Oh, it's not that bad"?  Somehow, words like those make us feel invalidated, as if our feelings aren't being valued, as if they're simplifying something that seems incredibly complicated and important to us.  The problem for me is that almost every time that's happened, almost every time I've felt like the world is collapsing and I'm out of control and someone has said something like that, the person has been right--things haven't been nearly as bad as I've imagined them being.

The people whom I've known who have the greatest sense of balance in their lives always recognize when a situation is grave or difficult, yet they deal with it as simply something to deal with.  They don't try to fool themselves by undermining the importance of what's going on, and they don't lie to themselves by saying "this doesn't matter."  But they do go about dealing with it in as positive a way as they can, recognizing that this, too, shall pass, but while it's here, it's not going to ruin my life or my peace of mind.

Our own perspectives are probably the most important element of anything that happens in life.  We do face trials that are difficult, that leave us feeling hopeless and helpless, but it is within our power to look at these problems from a more objective viewpoint so that we can see the silver linings that all clouds bear.  Life is difficult, I know, but I also know that in the difficulties we learn our lessons, and every time we go through something hard, we also have the opportunity to learn and grow and evolve as people and as spirits.  We're in a world that's wonderfully created to provide us with challenges that can help us to grow, and it's 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


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