I don’t imagine there is anyone that at some point has not come to their knees wondering why life has to be so tough at times. Struggling in cycles of worry, confusion, anger and blame can rip your heart out, especially when you feel like there is no meaning or purpose to the agony. But there is meaning to hardship and by understanding that simple belief, walls come down and you are opened to all sorts of opportunities.
Today I read a newsletter from Gurmukh Kaur Khalsa that spoke to this struggle and, in fact, the importance of these difficult lessons. She used the example of a bird that flies into a window and knocks itself out. Our human inclination is to help the bird by picking it up and guiding it to safety, but this act instead would kill the bird. What it needs to do to save its own life is to physically shake off the trauma.
Watching a loved one suffer can be one of the most difficult things we witness in life. It is our inclination to pick that person up, just like the bird, and guide them to safety. But did you ever consider that this act could be detrimental to their personal growth?
We too need tools to help us through the blows of life, because white-knuckling our way through suffering until it eases up a bit just doesn’t help us with the real lesson. If the lessons of life come to us wrapped in difficulty, then it only makes sense that we adopt practices that guide us to the root of the issue.
Hardship has a purpose. It activates disruptive feelings that nudge us towards doing something to ease suffering. With the right tools in place, we listen to the hurt we feel, and go deeper than the disruptive symptoms. This is where the true lessons are. In moving away from the symptoms and embracing the hurt underneath, we learn what it is we need to do to get out of the hardship and into the peace of the present moment.
It’s occurred to me, true healing happens when we get strong enough to look at the real source of pain, not the secondary triggers.