Saturday, 20 April 2013

When We Encounter Setbacks On The Path

There will come certain days, when you suffer a disappointment or a setback. Everything feels like it has gone wrong, that no matter how hard you struggle to do the right things, nothing you try works out in the way that you had planned.  It is possible to feel the clouds swirling around inside your head, clogging your thoughts, denying you the sunshine and the light.  It becomes difficult to stir yourself to action.  Your limbs feel heavy and weary, and seem to resist your every movement.  You ask yourself, "What is the point in all of this?", "Why do I try so hard and only seem to suffer as a consequence of my actions?", "Why is life unfair to me?", "Why do I work so hard and not get anywhere?"  The urge to give up comes upon you like the rushing storm waters from the broken levee.  It is easier to succumb, to give up, than it is to continue the fight.  Everything tells you to quit, to give in, and to give up the fight.

The journey on the one true path is like this.  Never be fooled into thinking that the discovery of your one true path means that the fight is over, that now come the easy days of glory and reward.  No.  The discovery of your one true path means that the true fight is only just beginning.  You fought before.  You may have had just cause and held strong beliefs and convictions in what you fought for.  On the one true path you will understand what it means to fight the true fight.  To fight for the very thing that grants you the ultimate gift in life.  You fight for your heart and you fight with your heart, since your heart is both your companion and your weapon.  And together you fight for your dreams, and you fight for the true cause: to keep walking your one true path.

Not every day can be filled with joy and happiness.  That is impossible.  Life teaches us that there is the need for balance and the need for harmony in everything, and that includes our own journey.  Birth is balanced by death.  Growth is balanced by decay.  Summer is balanced by winter.  Light is balanced by dark.  Everyone suffers disappointments and setbacks.  That is how it is, how it is always going to be.  But when you walk your one true path, those setbacks will not deter you from walking on.  On the true path, nothing can throw you off, nothing can defeat you.  If you are truly on the path that is right for you, then you will understand that moments and days will come when you need to pause on the journey, and you need to take some time for reflection and meditation.

Everyone, every single one of us, no matter our circumstances, will suffer a disappointment or a defeat at some point in time.  I know beyond all doubt that I am now walking my one true path, but there are days when I too feel disappointment, when I suffer a setback, and when I question what I am doing.  It is too easy to look upon others and think that they have it easy, that good luck and fortunate falls their way, since they never show disappointment nor sadness in life.  Do not be fooled though.  These are the people who perhaps suffer more than any one else.  These are often the people who hide their true feelings in order to spare others their pain, anguish and problems.  These people suffer quietly, privately and alone.  I am like this.  I try hard to avoid giving my problems to others, I suffer in my own silence and suffer I do.  I show only the positive side of myself to the world and I hide my pain.  I work through my feelings, I come to terms with them, and I move on again.

It is not the setback, pain, despair, nor the disappointment that defines where we are, nor who we are.  It is how we deal with them that determines everything that is to come.  Every disappointment that we encounter is an opportunity to learn and to better understand ourselves, and by doing so, to evolve the spirit.  When we feel joy and elation, we do not feel any need to self-analyse.  We readily accept the good times as they are, we welcome them, and we bask in their glow.  When the bad times arrive, and they inevitably will, then we have a choice to make.  The easy option is often to give in and retreat, turning a disappointment into a loss, perhaps even turning away from the chosen path.  Alternatively, you can accept what has happened, analyse it, understand it, and to learn from it.  When we choose this course of action, then we parry the blade of defeat and we deflect its blow.  We are not victorious, but we remain undefeated, and more able to continue the journey at a later date.

If you give in and retreat, then you have surely lost the battle.  If you decide to take the easy way and to lose in this manner, then you learn nothing from the experience.  You deny yourself the chance to learn and from that learning, the chance to act differently, should the same, or similar, situation occur again in the future.  And what life shows us, is that the same situation will come around again, until you are able to deal with it in the right way.  If you feel a strong conviction in your heart, then never be put off, never be thrown off the path on which you walk.  If the path that you walk is not your true path, then a defeat, even a small defeat, will easily deter you.

By learning from this disappointment, it is possible to take a negative situation and to turn it into something positive.  To progress in life, it is imperative that we each learn from our mistakes and from our setbacks.  A setback should be seen as an opportunity to learn, to better understand, and in understanding, to prevent the same thing from happening again, or at least, if it does, to handle it differently.  Perhaps you'll ask yourself the following questions:-

- What went wrong?
- Was it something that I did that caused it?
- Could I have acted differently?
- Can I change what has happened and make a different outcome?  (If yes, then go and do it!)
- Were my expectations too high?
- What will I do the next time I encounter a similar situation? (Because you surely will.)

Those that walk their one true path know that setbacks are just a necessary part of the journey.  They see them not as problems, not as barriers to success, nor as reasons to give up, but as opportunities to learn, to evolve, and to grow the spirit.  That is what our journey through life is all about.  And one day, you will reach your destination, fulfil your dream, and live out the life that is your true purpose and calling.  On the true path, your one true path, no amount of setbacks can prevent you from reaching the light and from reaching the love.

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