It is very nice to have no problems, to have no difficulties to deal with. Even though the problems and difficulties are sometimes exactly what catapults us into growth and maturity, we can all relate to the hope of a problem-free life.
And sometimes it happens: we have moments in which there is no trouble in our life and things move smoothly, things happen and appear exactly as we would like them to be.
But in my experience, and from that of all the people I know, it does not happen very often. We all have things to deal with, difficulties that we need to resolve, and sometimes those problems do not have an easy solution; no matter what decision we take, it is not something that will satisfy us completely. And this happens quite often… it happens often to me and I believe it happens often to many people.
But somehow, even if we don’t say it aloud, we all expect we will get there. If not now, then sometime later in the future, we think one day we will not have any more problems, we will not have difficulties or sorrows or troubles, but we will experience a trouble-free life and enjoy our days in peace and happiness.
But that will never happen.
We will continue to suffer disappointment or loss, we will fail, we will go through financial crisis, illness, doubt or confusion, we will see injustice and corruption etc, etc. If nothing else, we will all get old, and old age is never easy. For sure it has its beauty, but free of problems… no way!
There is no real end to difficulties.
But we can learn to deal with them better. On the one hand, by accepting the reality of how life is, accepting that there will always be new challenges, difficulties and troubles coming. On the other hand, by gaining the strength and power to either deal with the difficulties, when that is needed, or to let them go, to remain untouched by them, to be able to find peace and silence when there is nothing that can be done about them or we can make the inner decision to put our attention and love somewhere else.
And this should become our life: dealing with difficulties without being taken by them, without being overwhelmed by them.
Again, we all need to dedicate some part of our life to resolve, to think about, to deal with the difficulties and unpleasantness that those problems may create, but we need to change our attitude and stop thinking that there is anything wrong with this picture.
There may be moments when there are no difficulties – and that can be quite nice and pleasant –, but there will always be others when there are, and they will keep coming no matter what. Having more money or a better job or living in a nicer city will not change that. Do you think that people who have more money don’t have to deal with betrayals, broken hearts or illnesses? Do you believe even for a moment that people that live in luxurious houses and/or great locations don’t have to deal with complications, disappointments or depression? They may have different kind of problems than you or I have, but problems nevertheless. It is not a matter of changing circumstances, but of recognizing a fact of living this particular existence: difficulties will keep coming, but it is the state of our mind which may, or may not, be at peace with it.
Difficulties are not going to stop and they will have to be dealt with when the moment is right.
But there are moments – like for example when we are walking through a park, preparing and drinking a cup of tea, talking to a friend, playing with our kids, or simply when we want to take a break and find silence and peace in ourselves – when we don’t need to deal with those difficulties. But if we don’t have enough power and control, those difficulties will creep into our minds, and they will not let us be connected to those moments.
And this will happen when our minds are not trained, when they are not wise enough to be able to keep those difficulties aside; I am not talking about hiding from our problems, not at all, but about the simple understanding, the obvious attitude that there are moments in which we have to deal with problems, and there are moments when we don’t.
With this new attitude, our life can be compared to the seasons. Just like spring comes and goes followed by summer, which comes and goes followed by autumn and winter, which also came and go, over and over and over, our good and bad days, our more complex and our more relaxed moments, the ups and downs of life come and go, over and over and over.
And in this understanding there is a sense of being at peace with the nature of how things are.
You know, if we turn our minds to the cosmos, we discover that we are floating in this infinite universe on a tiny, really tiny (not bigger than a grain of sand in the Sahara desert) piece of rock we call the Earth, being part of a galaxy (of which there are between 100 and 200 billion galaxies in the observable universe) that contains about 400 billon stars, and this whole galaxy is moving at the speed of an astounding 2.1 million km/hr! It is so unimaginably huge… With this in mind, to think we should not have problems, whatever they are, is like… why not!!
But we need to be able to come back into the moment.
This is something that needs to be learned.
As a society, as a 21st century society in a big city, we don’t know how to do it, we are not taught how to do that.
We are taught, continually, how to get more, go for more, produce more, think more, worry more, do more… but we are not taught how to return into the moment, how to stop, recognize, and stay in the moment.
And the moment, this moment, needs to be our home.
The moment, this moment, needs to be something very powerful in our vision of existence, in the way we perceive reality, in the manner in which we experience the world; it needs to be the very ground of our life.
And then from there, when the need appears, we deal with the problems, we deal with the difficulties, troubles and situations that come our way, but we are able, at the right time, to come back to the experience of the moment; and then again, we deal with the problems, and we come back, and deal with the problems, and come back.
We need to be able to return into this center of peace, acceptance, spaciousness, silence, openness… this center of love; this center from which we can see and touch and smell and hear and perceive and be amazed by this extraordinary existence unfolding right in front of our eyes, right here, right now… or be able to remain in that infinite silence.
But if we allow our problems and difficulties to continuously take us away from this center, then we’ve lost it, we’ve lost our life.
But we can find our way back.
Right here, right now.