Inspiration from suffering

We shall draw from the heart of suffering itself the means of inspiration and survival. Sir Winston Churchill

Often when faced with difficulties and sufferings all we think about is, the means to escape the pain.  While that is the perfectly valid response for someone in pain, the truly enlightened will seek to transform the pain into energy to be harnessed for long term benefit. This requires both a stout heart and the ability to think differently. Look at all those who went through the holocaust; or take the Vietnamese who emerged triumphant from their long drawn war with America; or look at those who moved across borders during the great partition of the Indian Subcontinent. Every one of them is a shining example of a caterpillar which struggled to emerge from its cocoon as a beautiful butterfly.

How does one find the resilience to bear the pain and not lose hope? Faith, prayer and hope are the three pillars on which those suffering build their edifice and draw their strength from. Faith in themselves, faith that they can change their own destinies and faith that tomorrow will be different and more favorable. Prayer provides the nourishment for the soul, props up the sagging spirit and inspires great miracles within the humble soul. Hope is the equivalent of oxygen. Hope helps the hopeless gasp, offers them the proverbial straw to grasp and emboldens both body and soul.

On a more personal level, one can be dealt a cruel blow by fate and it will only be the right attitude, self belief and  the joy of living that will be the crutches on which one will have to learn to walk tall and erect when on the winding trails of life. It could be a debilitating disease, a loss of a loved one, failure in business, a sudden economic blow or the vagaries of modern living like a bomb blast, an air crash etc that can trigger the personal crisis. Imagine a couple having to cope with the birth of children who are mentally challenged. Every day is a painful reminder of the unfortunate fate of their kids, every night a nightmare about the future of the children and every breath a question that haunts them ‘ Why us’? Yet when they look at the same problem differently, they realize they are chosen because they have the fortitude to accept, the forbearance to endure and the wisdom to trust the future by planning  for it.

As life leads us on, we will realize that there are good days and there are bad days. It is our way of seeing things that makes the good days glorious days and the not so good days look a lot better than what it really is. Look within yourself and you will see the fountain that will always quench your thirst and help you experience the miracle called  LIFE.

Remember: “Suffering, once accepted, loses its edge, for the terror of it lessens, and what remains is generally far more manageable than we had imagined.” Lesley Hazelton

Try these:

  1. Think of the time you lost something very valuable. It could be an important document, possession or heirloom. How did you react to this loss? Did you brood for days on end? Did you suspect people? Did you blame your own carelessness or pass the blame on to others? How did you reconcile to not finding it?
  2. Spend a day at a special school for the mentally challenged. Actively interact with the students and work out how you can contribute to their needs? Time and talents are the most important thing you need to share. Did the experience make you feel more blessed?

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