Living Knocks You Down; Faith Picks You Up

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“If you want to fly on the sky, you need to leave the earth. If you want to move forward, you need to let go the past that drags you down.”   Amit Ray

“Only God can take our failures and turn them into victories.” Evinda Lepins

“If you are driven by fear, anger or pride nature will force you to compete. If you are guided by courage, awareness, tranquility and peace nature will serve you.”  Amit Ray

“Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres! ~Lucian Bane~”

How easily our lives are changed, and how swiftly we fall down. We begin to feel like summer grass, or fall leaves caught in a turbulent wind. I’m sure there isn’t one person who hasn’t experienced some form of a devastation within their lives, in one way or another. Many people love to joke and say we don’t get out of this world alive. I would add to this,  we don’t get out of life without scars. Some scars heal while others develop infections and tend to drag on with the healing process.

When we are younger we tend to have faith in our own ability to create our own worlds. Although in many ways we do tend to form our own realities by the choices we make,, in other ways we are puppets to the hurts and obstacles life places in our paths. I don’t care for problems any more than anyone else. I must admit, when the struggles befall us, they change us in ways that make us rethink and perhaps differentiate our actions. Out thoughts appear dissimilar prior to the incident. What causes us to evolve? How about those who fight the transformations.

I think about those of us who lose jobs or friendships or even divorce spouses, which can be similar to experiencing a death. Some of us learn from the mistakes we made while others of us fill with anger and hatred for the other people. We can’t see our own faults in the situations and believe the other person was totally to blame. All we accomplish is adding on stress and rage. I wonder if we just haven’t gotten the message in such instances. Nobody is ever entirely right or wrong in any given drama. Of course if we were all able to face that reality in the first place there would be less fighting and more respect and consideration.

Maybe it is all about us. Even divorcing people forget to think about the kids involved, or the extended family who are also victims. We tend to our own pain and suffereing and become totally unaware of another person’s aches. Uncles aunts cousins and grandparents suffer during a divorce and most especially the kids. Nobody is left without scars.  Perhaps if we recognized that we are all in the huge pot of soup together, we might take a look around and conclude we are not the only ones sensing the pains of disappointment or anger.

All the simple pleasures of life are what we are searching for. Anything less leaves us in want. This want can lead to desperation and actions that are out of  boundaries. Of course the results are even more painful, yet we won’t accept our fault in the matter. Our actions and words have so much to do with the issues we create in our lives. We wonder and proclaim to be surprised when things fall apart.  How is it we never go back a page or two in our lives to see our intrusion within the dilemma.

Many times life extends hardships which are out of our control. Some of these were never seen coming nor could they have ever been conceived. We don’t plan on parents getting old, children growing up and making big mistakes, nor diseases and handicaps rendering us less potent. It really does appear to happen without warning. Even television is constantly portraying lives that are loaded with so many choices that lead down so many diverse roads. Most of these destinations are not for the better. We enjoy the movies but don’t recall them later when we are faced with similar decisions. I am not displaying television as an item to watch but we miss so much even within our own lives.

We might see a relative go through a nasty divorce or situation with teenagers yet we find ourselvs one day repeating the same problems. Perhaps our pain sends us cowering into a corner and without any positive thoughts of restoring us to health. I wonder at times if we are almost afraid to have faith and hope. Just when we believe the world is a bright and wonderful place, we manage to  experience a let down. As they say, we expect something to go wrong when too much is going right. That is so sad. Perhaps our expectations need the changing.

Are we looking for the perfect fun filled life or the rewarding, faith packed life. Nobody likes pain, myself included. However, the pain I have experienced within my life has caused me to understand the value of people and relationships. It has also made me question my own fault in every situation that causes a crack. I am more aware of forgiving becasue I have had the need of forgiveness. My own tears have instilled me with more empathy for those who are aching inside. I know that when there is tremendous pain in one’s life, the only remedy is love and faith if one is to be restored. No money, fame or power will help. There is no material item to bring relief. People and their love are the cures.

Painful situations allow honesty and understanding to filter through. the more we understand, the less of a need we have to be understood. When we comprehend why a starving person might steal, we learn the meaning of tolerance and love. As much as we all search and yearn for the same things in life, we also experience many of the same injuries to our minds, bodies and souls. I suppose at those times it dawns on us that life is more than material comforts. Life is truly about learning how to develop all of the virtues poets write about.

When one always wins, they have great pride and happiness. They don’t recognize the suffering the loser experiences. We go deeper within when we are hurt. If we are ostracized, we understand tolerance, acceptance and love for others through identifying with them. Manifesting virtues benefits our learning . We can observe some of the lessons of life by sharing another’s pain. Running away from our own hurt or the sufferings of others shadows the meaning and purpose of growth in life.

Experiencing trials and tribulations doesn’t have to equate with unhappiness. It is how we relate to our situations that matters. In the end we are left with our emotional understanding. We encounter a deep wisdom of hope and faith far greater than ourselves. Perhaps we are afraid to look that closely and our fear drives us into useless tasks and fruitless busy work, along with wasteful social activities. The value of time and attention to virtue has become obsolete. Time is passing and we are changing for the better or worse. Although it is so hard to recognize good in hurtful situations, open your eyes and experience a new look.

We obviously can’t encounter every lesson involved in life. We can become more aware of absorbing another’s pain. Paying greater attention to the person beside us, teaches many life lessons in faith and love. The hardest experiences bring the most profound feelings. If we experience or witness ostracism, we can be transformed by it. We may evolve into being bitter and angry, or accepting others like we never have before. Loss can leave us bitter, or make us appreciate and cherish what we have. Dwelling on lack can become a pastime. Valuing what we have developed and acquired can turn into a good habit.

Faith is believing what we cannot see with our eyes, but what we can sense with our hearts. Faith is a commitment to having hope, when we are at our lowest. Not having the ability to witness the whole picture, at moments, can allot us feelings of despair. Trusting that there is more to the picture, beyond the canvas, turns disbelief into loyalty. Sharing our hardships with others and reciprocating when others are in pain, renews our love in life and in living. As Martin Luther King once stated, “Faith is taking the first step, even when you can’t see the whole staircase.”

“The purpose of life is not to be happy. It is to be useful, to be honorable, to be compassionate, to have it make some difference that you have lived and lived well.” Ralph Waldo Emerson

“True religion is real living; living with all one’s soul, with all one’s goodness and righteousness.”
Albert Einstein
“Success is to be measured not so much by the position that one has reached in life… as by the obstacles which he has overcome while trying to succeed.”    Booker T. Washington
 “We ask for long life, but ’tis deep life, or grand moments that signify. Let the measure of time be spiritual, not mechanical.”    Ralph Waldo Emerson
“Life is not easy for any of us. But what of that? We must have perseverance and above all confidence in ourselves. We must believe that we are gifted for something and that this thing must be attained.”    Marie Curie
“As I go through all kinds of feelings and experiences in my journey through life — delight, surprise, chagrin, dismay — I hold this question as a guiding light: ‘What do I really need right now to be happy?’ What I come to over and over again is that only qualities as vast and deep as love, connection and kindness will really make me happy in any sort of enduring way.”
Sharon Salzberg
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