Most of what I write concerns getting beyond the difficult times in my life to discover the hidden strength to make it to the next chapter. I’d always been disappointed with self-help books, and stories of success because they always gave the end result, not the journey. My goal has always been to record my journey from pain and self-destruction to balance and joy that the Universe has waiting for me. As much as I’m open and happy to share my struggles, having to struggle and deal with all this hardship is very taxing. I have begun to wonder if I’m okay with all the struggle or am I just more prepared to pick myself up and use my practice to get through?
There are times I wonder if I am looking for hardship. I wonder if my existence is to be the struggle and lesson for the rest of the world and I someone feel the answer is yes. I can’t say I’ve had it worse than anyone else, but hardship and struggle seem to follow me around, waiting for me to rise above, with each situation giving me great material for this blog, but wow it’s a rough road to be on. When I say I’m not scared of hardship, I’m not because I power through and come with wonderful insight and stories that truly make me feel blessed. It’s almost like I need to be this person so without hardship, what would I have left?
Today I’m slightly using this post as motivation because I am again having to deal stress in my work life. I allowed a situation to become bigger than it needed to be, knowing I had logic and right on my side. I allowed others going through the situation to assure me everything would be just fine, all the while I could feel they had no conviction in what they were saying. They were using words of hope to comfort me, but truly trying to comfort themselves while inside not believing one word. All this I saw in the midst of it but did nothing. Why would someone who is aware of the oncoming crash, just smile and keep on anyway? As rhetorical as that question is, we all do it and sometimes I blame hope for our inaction.
Hope is a funny little thing, which I used to see as a good thing but not anymore. Hope keeps people from doing for themselves and has them waiting for things to change without personal effort. With hope, we are giving up control to whatever we feel will give us the results we are “hoping” for. It’s this inactivity that usually extends the struggle beyond what it needed to be. I can’t see hope as a good thing anymore because I hoped my friends were correct in terms of my recent job struggles, and I also hoped my other friends weren’t correct in the same breath. Which hope should I have given weight and effort to? I usually don’t answer these questions but I have to say, neither.
Reality isn’t hope and the reality of the situation was right in front of me. Hope gives too much power to the unknown but what was known and right in front of my face could have been faced and fixed if I put more faith in my practice and not in hope. I wasn’t scared of the other side of the coin toss because I had faith I could rise above having continuously overcome hardship before, and this one would be no different. I somewhat have let this knowledge that I can and always overcome give way to being okay with more and more hardship coming my way. While some would feel this is a good way to be, I’m seeing this as a trick by ignorance and Mara (the Devil in Christian faiths), to blind me to the truth.
The truth is, you don’t have to be scared of hardship but you should never be okay with it either. The Four Noble Truths want you to understand the source and reason for the hardships in your life, with the Noble Eightfold Path being the answer to end them for good. I kinda have to laugh and admire how slick Mara can be in fooling us into thinking we have everything under control. I know I was able to gain a bit of wisdom and there were times I now know I used that slight wisdom to feel like I had all the wisdom I needed in that moment. I didn’t stop my practice but I did apply my limited skills in the wrong moments, and towards situations, it didn’t apply. I’m kinda jumping around here so let’s land this thing.
Hardship should not be feared but it’s important to learn from it and not to repeat the same situations. Hope makes us believe if we just endure with little to no effort to correct the situation, that the hardship will work itself out because we are good deserving people walking in the light. I’m sorry to say it isn’t enough. Right Effort, one of the Noble Eightfold paths, tells us inaction is just as bad as action directed in the wrong direction. Hope has been added to my list of bad four letter words and I’d encourage you all to look at how you see and use hope for yourselves. I also encourage you all to look at why the hardships in your life manifest and what can be done to reduce their appearance. I can say for myself, most of mine have come from inactivity, hoping for the best, and turning away from the truth that was right in front of me. As much as hardship has shaped me into what I feel is a more observant and open person, I have observed enough to know I am ready to take all the hardship I have thus far and make my life……Great Again!! (I had to).
Share on your social media sites, like with the star, and comment with your perspective on hope and hardship. I’d really love to hear from you all because your struggles could be what helps the next person struggle less.