The storm came unexpectedly, catching me off-guard. I smiled as my face was hit by wave after wave of raindrops, falling under an angle, not even trying to fight the wind. We can learn a lot from a single rain drop, I thought as one rolled down my face. There is a freedom in that thought somewhere.
Everything in life changes constantly, and we could really learn to accept it, without resistance, fear, doubts. Our inevitable path towards the ocean need not be so full of drama and tears.
But, then again, most people avoid storms, missing out on all the beauty of something they perceive as bad or unpleasant. For most people, something that feels bad or unpleasant actually is bad or unpleasant. They can’t see beyond the discomfort and so, for them, the situation simply cannot be positive.
Any yet, if we think about our lives, we realise that those are the moments we grew the most. It is through pain or discomfort that we make the biggest steps forward, spiritually. When everything is fine, we tend to let go and relax; surround ourselves with people, objects and situations we find comforting and non-challenging. And that is ok, of course. The problem happens when we expect that to last forever. It can’t. Life will give you an occasional break, a little rest and recuperation but inevitably, it will want you to continue your journey, and you can’t do that from your comfort zone.
So, everything that happens in our lives, happens to push us forward. That is the only objective Life, God, Creation, Universe (call it what you will) has for us. Sometimes we need pain in order to learn or simply finally have enough of it. Sometimes we need to feel we lost something in order to appreciate having it in the first place. Sometimes, we need to feel alone and abandoned to understand that we are happier with good people around us. Sometimes we need to lose everything we have, to become strong enough to get it all back, and more. Sometimes we need to feel like we can’t take it anymore, that we can’t make a single step forward, only to realise, after we fall down on the ground and give up totally, that we do have the strength for much, much more.
There simply isn’t another way. It’s not evil. It’s not cruel. It is the highest expression of love God has for us – to never let us rest too long, because where we are going, what we eventually, inevitably realise -it makes the entire journey clear and joyful and worthwhile. It also makes it obviously clear that there was no journey at all, no pain and no suffering at all… but, that’s a different story.
We are human beings. We feel pain and we feel pleasure. Of course we chose pleasure over pain if we let our subconscious mind make those decisions. It’s just the nature of things, at least on this level. But we are more than our instincts, we are more than our subconsciousness, more than our biology. If we can stand on the top of the bridge and ignore every cell of our body screaming “NO” and still place our trust into that bungee chord and trust it will keep us safe, regardless of what our inherited biology tells us, we can also accept pain as something we just need to go through. We can have faith in Life and know that, no matter how bad it seems to be at that moment, no matter how painful it feels, it will pass, and it will be easier if we resist less. And ultimately, we can understand that it is happening for us, not to us.
Life always gives us what we need, when we need it. When that differs from what we want or feel we deserve, we suffer. When that feels like a step back in our lives, we get angry. When it feels like we’re being punished, we get sad. None of that is necessary, really. It is ok if we feel that way, of course – we can always only do the best we can at that moment but, as soon as we can, we should observe it all and shift the perspective, find something positive in whatever is happening. Or, at the very least, just believe that it will pass and that it is happening for a higher purpose that will be clear and obvious someday in the future, even if it’s completely unclear and hidden now.
Whenever we can, we should look back at our lives and remember hundreds of situations we had that were painful, that felt unjust or simply unfair. A project that failed, job lost, money stolen or never returned. Heart crushed and lover that betrayed us. A prize never won, regardless of the effort we’ve put into it. Illness that keeps coming back and friends that keep abandoning us. Acts of kindness never rewarded. Path forward filled with obstacles and simply invisible.
And yet, every single time we survived, and rose up even stronger. Every single time help arrived, regardless of what form it took. Every single time we learned something and eventually broke the patterns. And every single time, Life gave us just enough, the bare minimum of help we needed to make the next step, where it hurt at least a tiny bit less.
That is the principle of Faith. To know it will happen again. To know we are guided and loved and cared for, always. To know we never get more than we are capable of dealing with, even if it doesn’t feel that way.
When we have that, we can go through anything. We can keep our head up and just accept the situation as it is. We can accept the unpleasant part of it and, if we can’t change it, we can walk through it, without resistance. Not only it will not affect us as much, it will also finish faster, since the mail lesson is already learned from the very start.
So, keep your head up. Say “I can take this, and more, easily”. Because you can. You are much stronger than you think and eventually, with acceptance, there won’t be any “strength” needed, anyway. You will flow through life like water, changing shape and directions, but always inevitably heading towards the ocean.
Don’t avoid the storms, learn from them and keep moving.