~ The balm for the weary traveler comes directly from the Soul. Love, forgiveness, joy, faith, and contentment lay the foundation for mental, emotional, and physical health.
Hardship and suffering are things we all experience at some time in our lives. It can take the form of emotional or physical illness, financial difficulties, dissatisfaction with your job or relationships, or a multiplicity of other forms. In truth, these hardships are situational and transient. I had a realization once when I was on a train in India, and it went like this…”Outside of the mind, there are no problems.” Things happen as they should and it is only our mind in conjunction with the ego that label events as either good or bad, or right or wrong. When you find yourself in the state that is beyond the chatter of mental activity, there is no judgment, no activity, only Being. Then you are able to see the situation dispassionately. Remember, any situation that brings about the sense of hardship or suffering within you has a beginning, and ultimately, will have an end. The questions that you should ask yourself when faced with hardship is,” In the big picture, what really matters? What is truly mine? Where can I root my awareness so that it becomes unshakeable in the midst of these series of events that I call my life?”
Well, in the big picture, what does really matter and what is truly yours? A simple exercise to help you answer these questions is to look at your open empty hand and repeat the following statement, “This is what my hand looked like when I came into this world, and this is what it will look like when I leave.” This is a truthful statement that can really help put things in perspective when you are feeling overwhelmed or worried about something that is transient. This realization will give your mind and ego something to ponder other than its own self-importance.
Where do you “root” your awareness so that it has the ability to become steadfast in the most trying times? The obvious answer is pretty clear. Jesus points this out when he mentions building your house on rock versus sand. The house represents your sense of Self and wellbeing. The rock represents the Eternal or Absolute or Love, which is your highest self. The sand represents transient things of this world (money, relationships, possessions) and things that are created by the ego.
We experience hardship when we place our faith, sense of wellbeing, expectations, aspirations, security, self-worth, and/or attachments in things prior to placing them in our Highest Self first and foremost. This is what hardship teaches us; you can be fully engaged in the world, raise a family, make money, have friends, tell jokes, dream, follow your heart, etc. but if you mistakenly place anything before your own Spirit, it won’t be long before difficulties find you and disturb your sense of peace. If there is “no false idol” before the living spirit that resides within you, no matter what happens in the outside world, your inner peace will not be touched.
The truth is that Love is the only thing worth living for because it is the essence of what you are and the flowerbed of all human good in the world. It also happens to be eternal and it came with you into the world and will go with you when the body falls away. Whether you realize it or not, you are searching for Love right now, and it is patiently waiting for you. I often tell people that there is no good reason not to be loving. It is Love that catches you when you feel like everything is falling apart, or you finally hit rock bottom and surrender. It is Love that is learned through hardship and suffering. It is Love that will allow you to soften and become wise through life.
So, with so much to gain and so little to lose, take a moment each day to grow your experience of love, in your own way. If hardship comes your way, try to see it as Love’s way of helping to guide you home.
Written By Mathew Zorn, N.D.