“Life is a joy between two pains.” – Sai Baba
When times are tough, it seems they will last an eternity. We get so caught up in the worry and anxiety that it’s hard to see beyond to the better times up ahead. But those who have an anchor in spiritual life find it easier to pull themselves up, face the challenges and grow beyond them. In ancient times, a devotee of Buddha felt great anxiety at the Buddha’s imminent departure from his village. “I cannot bear life without you here,” he wept. “What will I do? I will be drawn into the extremes of suffering and joy and I will not be at peace.” The Buddha wrote some wise words on a paper. “When you are pulled by life into the extremes of joy or the lows of pain and worry, read this,” he said handing the man the paper. The man opened the note. It read, “This will not last.”
Though many of us dread change, it’s often a comfort to know that whatever we are doing right now will change. Whatever our life condition is in the present moment, it will transform. Absolutely nothing in this life remains unchanged. By anchoring to the divine essence beneath the shifting plays of life and remembering the words of wisdom, “This will not last,” we may move into a deeper, broader perspective.
With effort and a concentrated focus on spiritual life and doing the right thing as dictated by our conscience, the life situation will improve. It may not move in the direction we expect, but it will not ever be stagnant. Things can change for the better or for worse. Take comfort in knowing that you are working to do your best – and do it. Never expect the world to conform to your desires. The only sure way to weather the turbulent ups and downs is to remain focused on the Divine that is above you, below you, all around you and in you.
Bio: Debra Moffitt is author of Awake in the World: 108 Practices to Live a Divinely Inspired Life. A visionary and teacher, she’s devoted to nurturing the spiritual in everyday life. She leads workshops on spiritual practices at the Sophia Institute and other venues in the U.S. and Europe. Her mind/body/spirit articles, essays and stories appear in publications around the globe and were broadcast by BBC World Services Radio. She has spent over fifteen years practicing meditation, working with dreams and doing spiritual practices. Visit her online at http://www.awakeintheworld.com.