Today we ask you to be conscious of the idea that you cannot really know what is good and bad in your life.
Many of you have had very unpleasant experiences that in the long term worked out for the best.
Perhaps you lost a job, or went through the painful end of a relationship. Years later, you have enough perspective to see that the job or relationship was not good for you, and that it was a good thing you were compelled to move on.
At the moment of distress, you may be very convinced that what is happening to you is bad and wrong.
But once sufficient time has passed, you may be able to perceive the positive impact the distressing event had on your life.
This may indicate to your that your assessment of an event’s relative goodness or badness is probably inaccurate.
Here is a key to enjoying this life:
The most joyful people in the world have a basic faith in the goodness of reality. This basic faith gives them a resilience in the face of distressing events. It does not take long for joyful individuals to shake off the trauma of distressing events, put them in perspective, and find a way to perceive goodness around the event — how it led them to a better place.
The most miserable people in the world are the opposite. They have a basic mistrust of reality. This mistrust makes them fragile and breakable in the face of distressing events. They do not bounce back quickly. They may never bounce back at all.
Miserable people obsess over their traumas, their wounds, their grievances. They have no perspective. They cannot perceive that almost everyone goes through trauma. Rather, they perceive themselves as uniquely afflicted with an unfair share of suffering. Many years after the distressing event, the pain is still fresh, and they keep reliving it. They believe that these distressing events have led to only bad things in their lives. They believe they would be in a much better place if the traumatic events had not occurred. They can’t get over it.
Most people exist on a continuum somewhere between the joyful and miserable types.
Joyful people are no in way luckier than miserable people. Some joyful people are very heavily afflicted with difficulty in their lives. So one’s level of joy or misery is not based on external factors.
Joyful people have a basic attitude of trust, and faith. From this unfolds a deep resilience, and a sense that the path they are on is leading somewhere good, even if they go through dark patches.
Miserable people have a basic attitude of mistrust, and suspicion. From this unfolds a fragile, easily breakable ego identity. They tend to go through life kicking and screaming. They’re always convinced that awful things keep happening to them for no reason.
Which would you rather be?
And please know that it is a choice.
You can, in every moment, choose to have faith. Or you can choose mistrust.
It’s up to you.