Finding one’s spiritual path later in life can be overwhelming, as is finding anything that involves work and dedication; however, for me I am about to juggle college in my thirties, trying to stay clean, and increasing my Buddhist practice. I personally am overwhelmed. Those three things are just a portion of my 2017 goals so being overwhelmed is my current state of being, but recently an old thought of mine resurfaces just as I needed something else to keep me going. I thought again to breathe, calm down, and settled into the idea of this just being my Catalyst Life. What if this life is just to precipitate an event or events for my next life?
This can even be used for the next moment. We all have difficult times that seem to last forever. They also seem to be all our life contains as each moment seems more difficult than the last. It’s easy to succumb, accepting drama and struggle but it doesn’t have to be your life. It really could just be a needed moment for something you will need more strength than you had before this current tribulation. I understand this could be seen as just being optimistic, with no basis in fact, however, isn’t that what faith is? Not really.
What I’ve noticed is a lot of people using blind faith which in Buddhism is a non-starter. Faith in Buddhism means faith in yourself that you have the strength and will to turn your attention to the Dharma and the practice. It’s from testing theories and practices to find the truth and utilize them in your daily life. It’s’ about believing and achieving, not waiting and hoping. Faith isn’t about hope and no action, or about anything really outside of yourself coming to make it happen for you. Faith is gained through the evidence after your own efforts. What does all this have to do with a catalyst life?
I’ve made this life a hard one for myself. I could have finished college long ago. I could be working a nice job, in my own place, and without the drama having to stay on top of my sobriety forever. I made decisions and to be honest I don’t regret most of them. What is left is just me understanding it was needed, but hating the actions before to get to the place I’m at now which I’m happy to be at with this kind of knowledge base. I didn’t have faith in myself or my practice so I choose a ton of more trying activities but I finally see it was all the reason of this life.
I’m learning a lot from all my many, many adventures. I was upset at first, lamenting why my life was full of so many obstacles, but this life it seems is where I mess up and learn for the next. I’ve been able to step back and analyze the tough patches, each one with such a transformative end result, I can’t at all believe they all weren’t designed to create someone of better than I am now. Could this all be me forgiving myself trying to make lemonade? So what if it is? I feel good and motivated to continue on, and isn’t that what it’s all about?
Life is a bunch of experiences that can either break you or make you stronger. Some of them are just there, with no real lesson aside from refining taste or just being moments for others to learn from. With awareness and mindfulness, you can understand when the Universe is directing this scene for you, or if you are just the supporting cast ( Oscars are coming soon). I continue to grow and investigate, improving my awareness, and growing into a pretty interesting gentleman.
When life is testing you with seemingly no point, just pay attention. You might see what this life is trying to set you up for. It’s all about something.