If one were to say what it is to do good, in two words it would be to endure suffering. Not enduring is bad without exception.
Why is it that people need to grow old to realize that there are peaks and valleys in life?
We say it in our marriage vows, ‘through good times and in bad.’ But why don’t we teach that to 6th graders? A teenager contemplating suicide should realize that the girl that just broke up with and/or humiliated him, will be someone he laughs about later in life. Or more likely it will be someone he doesn’t care or think about anymore.
We all go through bad times in our lives. Some for long stretches. It’s confusing. Scary sometimes. We have no idea how things got this way. And we stay in that down cycle probably longer than we should. Maybe it’s out of shock, or the lack of motivation that rides shot gun to depression, maybe it’s because we don’t understand that these times are an opportunity for change within us.
There is probably nothing more egotistical than quoting yourself, but apparently my ego knows no limits. I wrote over Thanksgiving, ‘When all things are illuminated, it’s hard to see brighter light. I am thankful for the darkness. Because it’s in the darkness that you can see the light at the end of so many tunnels. It’s through those tunnels that you find your Way.’
Endure…suffering. There are so many opportunities to pursue in the down times because you’re not tied to too much in your life. If everything in your life is wrong, maybe it’s time to look in another direction. Darkness, valleys, suffering…it’s opening a window for you to change. An opportunity for you go after something. To be someone you never thought you would, or could. When you have nothing…what do you have to lose?
You will come out of those times on a path. Better, stronger. You will have more focus. More drive. And even if that path isn’t the end-all, or doesn’t pan out the way you wanted it to, it will have already gotten you out of the darkness. And that’s good enough.
In darkness I found Urban Samurai. Do you think I would have started this if I was riding high? If everything was going really well, do you think I would start read numerous samurai books, take kendo, write a blog…? Urban Samurai is going to go down, to me, as one of the greatest things I’ve ever done in my life. I know it. And I never would have found this during a great stretch.
This isn’t telling you to endure…and wallow in the misery. It’s just to say that bad times will definitely be there in your life…endure them. Get through them. Open your eyes. See the light. There are better days ahead. You can find a tunnel that leads you to light probably sooner than you think.