Hardship is hard when viewed from the inside.
Please discuss. How does this play out in life?
I’ll start us out. We all have out turns at being in the middle of truly difficult situations. Financial lack, health crises, chronic pain, job loss, mental illness, addiction, family problems, social injustice—all these can involve us intimately in suffering. We’re bogged down by really challenging events and need to find a way to claw ourselves free. Sometimes it can feel like the strain won’t ever let up.
This sort of major difficulty has happened to us in the past, may very well be going on now, and almost certainly will arise in the future. Pain seems to be part of the human condition and we don’t really care for it. Yet in honesty, hardship hones our spirit, pushes us out of our routines, and expands our mindset. In the long run, it is usually good for us. Most of us would never leave a familiar and pleasant rut or embark on rapid personal growth unless forced to by circumstances. We resist leaving our comfort zones.
Today’s message reminds me to make a perceptual shift when I’m struggling, to get outside of my personal pain so I can be more objective. Staying focused on suffering will only generate more of the same for me. If I want to move on to a happier way of being, I need to stop resisting, stop trying to clutch onto what was. When I’m willing to accept that change is inevitable, necessary, and beneficial, I am free to generate what I want rather than more of what is no longer working. Stepping outside of suffering gives me the clarity to choose something more functional.
How about you? How do you find a way to view your difficulties objectively?
For a more in-depth discussion of why our lives become chaotic and how we can liberate our perception, see Chapters 6 and 7 of my book “The Sharing: The Owner’s Manual for Being Human.” Thanks!