Good things happen to us in life but as we all have probably found out… bad things happen too. We lose someone we love, or maybe we lose our income, our health, our ability to do things we love, or we can’t cope with our work load, our responsibilities, our situation in life. The possibilities are endless, but one thing is certain we will all at some time hit a low point.
Life’s lemons are inevitable, in fact sometimes life positively stinks!
Some who hit this low point get angry, others suffer depression and others experience anxiety and often it’s a mixture of all three and all consuming. Perhaps the hardest thing when we are suffering like this is to accept the situation and accept how I am feeling about it.
Before we can move forward we have to accept that whatever situation I might be in now, this is at present, my reality. It’s not necessarily always going to be like this, it doesn’t mean that it’s right or I agree with it, simply this is what’s happening and it’s out of my control.
It’s hard to practice acceptance when you deeply wish things were different but our common sense will tell us, we can either accept or reject what is happening and in fact, it is the rejection of the situation that causes even more frustration and pain.
Research validates that our willingness to accept the unchangeable has a great deal to do with our emotional and psychological well-being.
There’s a very nice prayer by Rienhold Niebuhr
God, grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change,
the courage to change the things I can,
and the wisdom to know the difference.
In this overwhelming situation of suffering, usually our driving force is to reach for a quick fix so we can start to feel better in some way. Some people turn to panaceas like alcohol, medication or illegal drugs, while others try to immerse themselves in more healthy alternatives like physical exercise or joining a local sports team. But increasingly when life turns sour, many people try meditation to help them cope.
Now as a senior meditation teacher of 40 years I’m not going to tell you that meditation results are immediate and it’s as easy as popping a pill, however I can guarantee that if you take some time out of your everyday life to apply the process, meditation can and will provide some peace of mind. The great thing I have found with meditation is that it will not just give us relief and time away from our problems but will also help us accept them and find the right tools to bring us back from the dismal abyss that we are often lost in, while giving us a solid foundation to move forward from.
With a little patience and consistent meditation practice we will gradually see a little light at the end of our dark tunnel. We’ll find some peace of mind and heart, and although the glaring problem may still be there, we won’t be so shaken or disturbed by it, and we now have the clarity on how to best deal with it.
So when life deals its blows, we can simply sit back take the meditation into our mind and heart and find peace, solutions and acceptance.
By Vrndavan Dasi
Founder and Principal of Veda Yoga Teacher Training