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Create a diamond: Use challenges to your advantage
Have you ever thought about the difference between a coal and a diamond?
Both are carbon. When coal is under intense pressure and heat, it becomes a diamond. Our existence is similar – challenges transform us into beautiful diamonds, yet we often don’t want to go through them, even when we know that the end product is always good.
Our childhood memories, and even our present day experiences, show that we often talk very fondly about the miserable times: “I walked all the way to the airport,” “We were stuck for seven days during the flood with no power.” We are so proud of having survived them. There would be nothing special if we had gone in a car to the airport, or life had continued as normal during the floods. When we really had a tough time and survived with integrity, we say, “Wow, I did it!”
If there were no examinations at school, how many of us would attend classes? Perhaps a few, who are really sincere about education, but this is a different breed. Most of us are afraid of tests and exams; if we could avoid them, we would, right? We need to correct that attitude, because life is full of so many different types of testsand challenges.
Challenges in life prepare us to do something greater. When untoward things happen, we can learn from those moments. Instead of resisting and becoming negative, it is better to try to solve the problems without getting frustrated. When we are frustrated, our minds become disturbed. When the very radar, the very guide within us is disturbed, there cannot be guidance from within, and we are not able to make the right decisions.
So, when challenges are there, it is good to be extra alert in a very open way. Invite them. That is why Ram Chandra said again and again, “Accept miseries.” When we don’t accept them, we never understand their purpose. What can they do for us? Where can they take us? To what levels? All these things will be lost the moment we reject miseries. Try to go through any situation peacefully, with a quiet heart, with a bold heart, and with a lot of courage.
When we pass through difficult situations, we can emerge stronger than before. But if we don’t accept them, we don’t learn anything, we only suffer, and nothing good comes out of the process. When we merely accept, we remain mere human beings. When we accept them joyfully and cheerfully, they bear spiritual fruits, and then we see the beauty that emerges. This requires a lot of courage and self-confidence. Even when we fail, in the test of life we still pass with flying colours. We don’t run away like cowards. We face life as it comes with courage and confidence and we move on. That is how we build our destiny.
We all go through ordeals in life; no one is an exception. In a way, we can say that self-mastery is a life where we master pain, pleasure, everything. Every situation is in our hands. If we want to go further, the trick is to graduate beyond acceptance to cheerful acceptance. And then we graduate to a higher state where there is no awareness even of acceptance – we simply accept and move on. That is absolute acceptance, total surrender, where we are always in the present. We are not anticipating anything better. A person who goes on anticipating better moments can never be happy.
Accept and make peace with the world, make peace with yourself. That is the pinnacle of life, where we are able to master life. We can then confidently, gracefully, walk through any situation, no matter how difficult, without being affected; without creating impressions in ourselves, or others. The only ripples our existence creates are the fragrant subtle waves of purity and love.
All the best.
Kamlesh D Patel is the fourth spiritual guide in the Sahaj Marg system of Raja Yoga meditation. He travels extensively and is at home with people from all backgrounds and walks of life, giving specialattention to the youth of today. www.heartfulness.org