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You’ll Never Have So Good A Teacher As Hardship

When you pray for patience, do you think God just hands you patience or does he present you with the opportunity to learn patience?

Life can be harsh but without pain we can never grow. If everything were perfect just the way it was then why would we ever strive for growth? Pain is your friend not your enemy and definitely not something to be avoided.

Big or small the solutions to life’s problems are the building blocks on which we rest the foundation of who we are. It’s not what has happened to us or the hardships we have encountered in life that block our success but our inability to recognize or learn what they have to teach us.

The goal shouldn’t be to avoid problems or create a problem free environment. A bubble will always burst, leaving you exposed and unprepared. Instead we must endeavor to seek and understand the wisdom an obstacle might have to offer in order grow and evolve as beings.

If you are struggling with something right now, no matter how big it is, pause for just a moment, take a step back and look at it from another vantage point. Try to see what it is you are supposed to be learning from the situation. And by identifying the lesson to be learned, you will be half way to it’s solution.

For example, maybe you are currently in over your head and there is no way you are going to survive this on your own. Rather then desperately trying to fix whatever it is that’s gone wrong, realize that maybe this problem is really a lesson in how to ask for help.

Can you see how in understanding the bigger issue the solution presents itself freely? By acknowledging its purpose and asking for the help needed to accomplish whatever the task may be, the problem is solved and you are free to move forward.

It’s also important to understand that failure is simply a matter of having not yet identified the true nature of an obstacle.

So don’t be discouraged by “failure”. Even failure is a success. Maybe you succeeded in doing something other then what you had set out to do, but still something was accomplished. Was it not? Even if it’s only eliminating alternately non-viable avenues to your intended goal.

A very famous example to illustrate my point is a newspaper article in reference to the development of the light bulb. A reporter asked Eddison, “How did it feel to fail 1,000 times?” And Edison replied, “I didn’t fail 1,000 times. The light bulb was an invention with 1,000 steps.” Only because he understood this was it possible for him to successfully create what has been called; “the most important invention since man discovered fire”.

Every great man or woman has a similar story of perseverance and acknowledgment of the utility of failure. And because of this their successes were inevitable, just like yours will be if you are able to learn the lessons that life has to offer you.

Obstacles are entirely of our own design. It’s how you choose to see a situation or thing that makes it so.

Obstacle or opportunity the choice is up to you.

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Kindness Matters

NICE PEOPLE CAN’T BE TRUSTED!



“Wait, what? Holding doors open and helping old ladies across the street doesn’t make me untrustworthy!” You’re right it doesn’t, but neither does it make you nice. It makes you a kind person.  There is a big difference between nice and kind.  Today let’s explore these differences and how there is no place for “nice” in our lives, as we continue our discussion on Satya or Truthfulness. 



Like the KIND Bar boasts ” It’s nice to remove artificial ingredients, but kind never had to.”


    What’s wrong with being nice?  Well, like the slogan suggests, nice is artificial whereas kind is real.  The innate difference between nice and kind is that at the root of niceness are feelings of inadequacy and the need for approval or validation from others. Nice lacks honesty.  Nice is an illusion.  It is a false image imposed by what we think others want to see.  Nice lies to your face because it’s afraid of you.  Nice hides the truth in fancy little boxes only letting you see what it wants you to.
 

 Kindness, on the other hand, is a commitment to honesty without harming others and stems from a place of benevolence and love.  Kindness comes from our unique essence and speaks to the moment from a center of truth.  Kindness asks us to live from a place where there is nothing to defend and nothing to hide.  

The practice of Satya (truthfulness) and Ahimsa (non-violence) naturally culminate in kindness. There is no need for “nice” when you have kindness.  Honesty to ourselves and to others while resolving to do no harm provides us with the basic framework for building happy, competent and meaningful lives.   Trust in the truth, do no harm and the rest will fall in place. 

Satya

” I KNOW THAT IN EMBARKING ON NONVIOLENCE I SHALL BE RUNNING WHAT MIGHT BE TERMED A MAD RISK.  BUT THE VICTORIES OF TRUTH HAVE NEVER BEEN WON WITHOUT RISKS”.    

~GANDHI~
I know quoting Gandhi is a little cliche but I wanted to start with it because in this statement we can see how non violence is inherently intertwined with this week’s topic of Satya or Truthfulness.  Second only to nonviolence truth provides powerful moral guidance.  It can be scary and unpredictable but it is also pure and righteous.  Truth has the power to free us of our self made bonds and end suffering.  It is relentless in its demands and gracious in its offerings.   

You may think that being truthful simply means to not tell lies.  But Truth demands an integrity that is so much more than just not fibbing.   Satya is a total commitment to truth— in being, words, actions and intentions.  

When we choose to be truthful we choose to be real, we choose self expression over self-indulgence, growth over the need to fit in and fluidity over rigidity.  To better understand the subtlety of truth we must first understand why we might lie in the first place.  After all if the truth is so great why bother with lies?
So Why do we LIE? 

Carl Jung writes ” A lie would make no sense unless the truth was felt to be dangerous.”   
Like water or electricity people tend to prefer to take the path of least resistance.   Truth rarely seems to ask the easier choice of us and therefore in order to avoid perceived discomfort people lie.  For example, the desire to fit in, make others happy or to avoid the consequences of our actions may entice us to lie.  Driven by fear, lies are misguided attempts at self preservation that ultimately destroy the host.  

It takes courage and integrity to be real with ourselves as well as with others.  Truth invites us to places we may rarely go to or are completely comfortable with.  But a person of substance is willing to stay present in life no matter what its initial discomfort.  Truth has a boldness to it that, while not always enjoyable, is trustworthy and is worth the effort.  


Truth can be complex, and because of its marriage with non violence has a fluidity to it.  Because of this  we will delve deeper into truth in my next post but for now if you find yourself unsure about what to do in a situation ask yourself…


Is it love or fear that is driving my decision? 
If your answer is love… Great trust your gut! When we act from a place of love we can’t go wrong. 
If not… Maybe you should consider reevaluating and choose a different path.

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