Transcending Life's Problems through Spirituality - dummies

Transcending Life’s Problems through Spirituality

By Sharon Janis

Look at the trials of your life with a spiritual approach: Until your heart has been broken to the things of this materialistic world, you can’t open your heart into the higher world.

Now, you shouldn’t feel compelled to go out and try to get your heart broken or seek after trials and disasters so you can grow from them. Don’t worry; the world is very good at creating just the right challenges for you!

Yet, isn’t it amazing how even the most intensely difficult things in your life somehow fall just within the threshold of bearable? You may sometimes think your troubles are unbearable, but most likely, you come to a time when things get better. Everyone goes through these ups and downs of life, although the outward details and intensities change from person to person.

For one person, small inconveniences can cause more distress than major disasters do for another. Some people get more upset about a bad hair-tinting job than do people who are dealing with devastating tragedies. Pain and suffering are relative. How life’s challenges affect you depends on your understanding, state of mind, and previous experience; it also depends on the arms of divine beneficence that come to carry you above the hottest sands.

Seeing troubles with a positive eye

You most likely enjoy a pleasant life as much as anyone else. Moreover, even knowing the value of life’s challenges, you still don’t go around looking for trouble. You might say that you choose your challenges, or that God chooses them carefully for you so that your mind and limited self-concepts are shaken just enough — but not too much — and with rests in between.

The following efforts can help you find a comfortable mix of trials and transcendence:

  • Make efforts to create the kind of life that’s pleasant and fulfilling for you.
  • Be open and receptive to whatever comes — good or bad, pleasurable or difficult.
  • When challenges come up, use them as opportunities to springboard off your limited worldview of temporary earthly existence. Leap into a greater vision of what is going on beneath, behind, beyond, and above this strange pilgrimage called life.

Looking with a positive eye at your trials and tribulations isn’t meant to deny you happiness. On the contrary! You can think of trials as tools that pry you loose from a smaller worldview, and push you — even running and screaming — into more precious realms that you may not have known existed.

Look at these ways that suffering can help uplift you:

  • Suffering teaches you compassion.
  • Suffering inspires you to contemplate and reconsider your thoughts and actions.
  • Suffering brings renunciation, and renunciation is an important quality for spiritual growth.

Times of suffering and difficulty can actually lead you into a greater experience of the world. Dark nights of the soul can bring greater meaning and depth of spirit to your life and give you more appreciation and gratitude for all you have. Many people have awakened to religion, spirituality, and the presence of the Supreme Being for the first time after going through traumatic events. For this reason, suffering can be one of the most potent forces for spiritual transformation and awakening.

This doesn’t mean that you should court difficulties or become a martyr — looking for more suffering so you can grow from it. Nor is it a call for you to just suffer and suffer without making efforts to heal the problems in your life. In fact, with spiritual awareness, you can change uncomfortable outer circumstances — not only on a materialistic level but also by combining the power of your mind with spiritual practices, good actions, and higher intentions.

The key to transforming trials into transcendence is to realize that everything that comes to you is:

  • Your destiny
  • An opportunity to tap into a greater awareness

Rising above suffering

Life always brings challenges to deal with. Struggle and strife have come as standard accessories with the package deal of this cruise. When those inevitable difficult moments come, you have a choice: Instead of being swept away into an emotional flurry or numb depression, you can see such times with some objectivity.

Then, even if part of you goes into some agitation or sadness here or there, you can still be aware of the part of you that’s witnessing all the play of your life — the still point of the turning world that exists inside of you. From that place, you can remind yourself that after every storm, there is a chance to awaken into a new golden sky and find colorful new rainbows to delight your heart, nourish your soul, and rouse your spirit.

This approach to life doesn’t mean that you never suffer. Rather, even in the midst of suffering, you can simultaneously break through into an awareness that’s free from suffering — existing beyond the level of your body and the physical world. This is the realm of spirituality.

Looking for the positive

Looking for something positive, even in the worst events, automatically helps to heal any situation at hand. Remember that you’re not just a passive observer of life but an active participant. Your belief system actually molds and affects reality. Therefore, planting the seeds of a positive outlook creates a more positive experience down the line, regardless of how bad things may look in the midst of your suffering and challenges. Your thoughts are so powerful that adding a positive viewpoint into the mix can rock the vote of this universe as it manifests through and around you!

Tragedy brings out the best in people

Have you noticed how people get together and help one another so much more easily when they’re in the midst of a disaster? Floods, tornados, hurricanes, and earthquakes all bring, along with their images of devastation, equally powerful portrayals of human beings helping one another, even heroically saving neighbors whom they may have never even bothered to say hello to before.

In times of crisis, a sense of temporal existence and an awareness of the shared flame of humanity become more tangible to those involved. Tragedies and disasters have a way of sloughing off many layers of illusion-based thinking and materialistic absorption. Vulnerability also comes during times of crisis — bringing its friends humility, gratitude, and compassion.