In Troubled Times

Darkness descends on us whenever there is something of particular importance to learn.

The most potent, transformative change is not created in exalted states of consciousness. It is created during the blackest nights, when the direness of the situation calls for — demands — a new approach (or else).

In such times, the temptation is to yearn for the immediate end to what ails you. That is like yelling at the rain, telling it to stop.

You don’t have any control over its duration or intensity. None.

What you do have control over is your reactions, your attitudes, and your ability to remain open to the new perspectives that are attempting to be given to you.

Even in troubled times, always ask, “What am I learning?” “What is this situation trying to communicate?”

Given our intolerance for the slightest abnormality, it can be difficult to bring presence to the situation.

However, it was lack of presence that brought the situation forth.

You can rightly conclude that it is presence that will send it on its way.

What You Tolerate

Many like to say, “You get what you deserve.”

This is the ego delighting in its feeling of superiority while another faces hardship or inconvenience (which has karmic repercussions of its own).

While there is a certain amount of truth found in the statement, it lacks kindness, understanding, and separates observer from object.

It’s more true that, “You get what you tolerate.”

This statement is based in a neutral, non-judgmental cause and effect dynamic. It works across the entire spectrum—from so called negative, to so called positive.

If our lives are filled with chronic sickness, suffering, and lack of fulfillment, we have developed a tolerance for it. Somewhere deep inside, we feel we don’t deserve any better and similarly couldn’t tolerate any better. Many lives are resigned to poverty for this reason alone.

However, if chronic sickness, suffering, and lack of fulfillment becomes intolerable then, surely as the sun will rise, the solutions to these conditions will both arise and be acted upon, eventually improving our fates.

It works the same with more sublime experiences as well, such as consciousness raising, self-expression, and creative realization—i.e., we get what we tolerate.

If we can tolerate sublimity — as well as the difficult work sublimity entails — then we will get it, naturally.

It is we who hold the key to each and every “locked” door. Our internal readiness to meet what waits on the other side determines if and when we decide to turn the handle.

Most Important

There are the priorities of your personality that include: your appearance, social standing, financial & marital status, career trajectory, comfort, happiness, and the like.

Then there are the priorities of your soul that include: understanding, truth, virtue, evolution & healing, service, kindness, and the like.

What are you committed to? Are you committed to comfort and happiness? Or are you committed to knowing the truth, and so a peace that knows no end?

There is never really 100% commitment either way. Of the highest yogis and servants of truth among us, all of them possess personal predilections, interests, and fancies. Likewise, some part of the most advanced personalities, deeply entrenched in the material world, yearn to live life as a total renunciate.

It’s just that when push comes to shove, the yogis and servants of truth always sacrifice their personality to whatever the soul, which speaks in the language of silence and intuition, is asking for.

Jesus Christ himself, aware of his coming crucifixion (so the story goes), prayed in earnest to avoid what seemed like a terrible, unjust fate. He then righted himself, praying, “Thy will be done.” Enlightened though he was, he — understandably — slipped into his personal preference, then quickly moved into his soul’s awareness.

If you are more committed to your soul’s path, often you will encounter such dilemmas because of the way society is structured.

You can either fight for what you want or surrender to what is. You can’t do both at the same time.

What you might find is by bending the knee, the thing you want has been resting at your feet all along.

It’s not out there. It’s in here.