We all go through tough times in life. I think there is no one on this planet who can claim they never went through any tough times. Life does not tell us ahead – “Hey, there is a problem coming. Stay alert.” Tough times like job loss, health issues,relationship problems etc. come suddenly when we least expect them. They are like surprise tests in school. These situations can evoke various emotions like fear, grief, anger, and anxiety. And sometimes, these tough situations stay for a long time in life and it can be very frustrating. So, what to do in these situations?
My husband and I recently went through a tough situation. It came unexpectedly. In the past, when some difficult situation would come in life, I would go through it with forgiveness issues, loss of faith in spiritual practices, anger, sadness, disturbed schedule and stress. I would fall down miserably and later regret. But this time, my husband and I could go through the situation calmly without blaming anyone or becoming worried or stressed. Our schedules were not disturbed. We were not carried away emotionally though its a significant problem. Yes, we were concerned and a bit anxious but we could walk through it with inner calmness and now, we are out of it by the grace and blessings of the divine. The way we responded to the situation is very different from how we would react in the past.
So, here are the 7 things that helped us walk through this challenging situation with inner calmness.
- Think of the worst-case scenario: I know positive thinking is important but in tough situations, we need to think of the worst-case scenario. Many times, the mind creates fears around the situation imagining all kinds of things. But thinking about what is the worst that can happen and how it can be handled gives a break to these fears. In my tough situation, when I did this exercise, the consequence did not scare me much. It felt manageable. This helped me relax, keep aside the problem and move forward.
- Meditate: Will meditation remove our tough times like magic? Sometimes yes and sometimes no based on our previous karmas. Then, if it is uncertain, why should we meditate in tough times? Because, meditation, for sure, gives us inner strength and a calm mind to walk through the situation. In many situations, more than the situation, it is the mind that creates bigger problems. The mind goes through restlessness, fear, and depression and these responses intensify the problem. By meditating, our negative emotions are toned down and logic starts working. We also find answers and divine guidance on how to get out of the situation. Even though I was walking through a tough situation for some time, it did not impact my mind or schedule much because I have been meditating for years now and I continued my meditation during the tough time as well. We should meditate more during tough times because that’s when we need a lot of inner strength and inner calmness. So, don’t stop meditation because of challenging situations.
- Energy Healing: Sometimes, tough times throw us into depression and we may not even feel like meditating. What to do then? Reach out to a professional energy healer and get psychotherapy healing done. Psychotherapy is an amazing tool that helps us walk through the situation without being overwhelmed by it. During this tough time, I have done psychotherapy on myself every day(from Monday to Friday) and it helped me immensely. Be it happy times or sad times, my routine has wellness meditation in the morning and psychotherapy in the evening. These 2 tools kept me grounded and helped me stay calm.
- Stay in touch with the divine: Divine is a great source of inner strength. People call this Divine by different names like Universe, Nature, God, Krishna, Rama, etc. By being in touch with the divine, the mind is strengthened and empowered. Reading holy books, chanting God’s name, meditating on the form of the divine, pooja, and prayers – these are all some ways to connect with the divine. You can choose any way that appeals to you. I practiced some of these tools that appealed to me and these tools greatly helped me.
- Forgive: We experience any tough situation in life due to the mistakes we did in the past(this lifetime or previous lifetimes). We blame others but the actual reason for our problems is our own karma. It’s not God or our family members or our boss. It’s our own karma. Practicing forgiveness towards others is a great way to work on the past negative karma. When you forgive the mistakes of others, your mistakes will be forgiven and you can get out of the situation faster. So, I have practiced lot of forgiveness(both asking and giving). You can chant forgiveness affirmation and practice wellness meditation to improve your ability to forgive.
- Learn the lesson: Every tough situation in life comes to teach us a lesson. If we don’t learn the lesson, there are good chances of the situation repeating in the future. So, reflecting on the lesson we need to learn is important. Is it more discipline? Or acceptance? Or love? In our case, it is more discipline and gratitude.
- Engage the mind in something positive: When we are going through a challenging situation, it is common for the mind to dwell on it and worry. But engaging the mind in something positive distracts it from the negative and keeps it moving forward. Chanting a mantra, reading a good book, doing service, following a systematic schedule, spending time in nature – these are all some ways to keep the mind engaged in something positive.
These are the 7 things that helped us when we went through a tough situation.
Yes, none of us like to go through tough situations but nature of the life on this planet is to give us challenges just like tests in school. We cannot go to school only for playing and having fun. We should also learn something(this is the main purpose of going to school) and give tests according to the grade we are in. Many students don’t like tests but everyone, irrespective of their gender, wealth, health, fame, spirituality, etc. has to give tests. In a similar way, we all will have tough situations to walk through, according to our level of evolution. Tough situations in life are inevitable but spiritual tools can make our journey easier and help us bounce back faster. Spiritual tools give us the inner calmness and strength to walk through the situation without aggravating the problem with our negative emotions.
Happy times or sad times, may we all be rooted spiritually.
Sarve jana sukhino bhavanthu!
-Contributed by Geethanjali Balachander