‘How to face tough times?’ – Is that on your mind too?
One thing I have realized is that no matter which technique you follow – whether you want to control your breathing, you want to do meditation, you might want to do affirmations or else in order to lead a positive life, behind all of this is that one thing – ‘intent’. Think about it – you intend to do this and you intend to do that. Only when you have a strong intent can you jump on this bandwagon of ‘be positive’ in true genuine way. Despite breathing being so easy to control, you will often forget to control it or lose its rhythm in some or the other situation. Same goes with meditation and other practices. You lose the momentum. But had you had that strong intent, you would have still maintained the rhythm and practice. It all begins with intent. In fact it might now be wrong to say that it ends with intent. I really can’t emphasize the importance of ‘intent’ more.
This unwavering intent comes from wisdom. Initially you might try to garner this wisdom by seeking superficial answer to the questions such as ‘How to face tough times?’. You might try to mechanically apply all the tricks up your sleeves. Until one day, somehow, the real wisdom seeps in that you are the awareness ‘watching’ things unfold. This awareness cannot come unless you contemplate even deeper into yourself and start questioning your existence. This contemplation can only come when you are forced to, during adverse times. For no other thing on earth would you have delved deep down into yourself to figure out ‘who am I’ or what all this ‘present moment’ thing is all about, but for these tough times. Once the focus shifts internal, there arises the space within. This space keeps expanding as you keep the gaze within. Then all sorts of realization set in be it about the mind, the brain, free will, and more (of course it takes time). You look back and you would realize that there was nothing that could be done at that point in time. That you are not the ‘doer’, as Buddha said. Deeds simply happen. Then you question your existence and life in general. Till you culminate to the point of understanding that you are ‘awareness’. There was no one who faulted you. You faulted none. All that the fault did was to make you reach this point from where you can truly grow. That is the first step to realizing freedom. What follows is complete freedom. This freedom now gives rise to the unfaltering intent one is looking for. Intention is like the seed that has started sprouting. Any activity that you do now is with awareness. You want to dabble in and out of mind at will. And now any technique that you follow will be more robust and long term because there is a strong intent -> created by the strong awareness -> created by strong inner contemplation -> created by painful times. So you will do the same stuff, but there is a huge difference in the intent between the pre-realization and post-realization times. Now not only do tough times create a deeper intent, but the space created between you and your mind through contemplative methods like meditation allows you to have a choice over how you respond to things. There is a deep peace within at this stage created by the space. The positivity gained thereafter is not through some force or effort. It just stays there naturally. Your intent in turn feeds itself off this positivity.
Going through tough times is the start of your journey into silence. That is the true journey for each of us. But only if it was not for that moment which seemed painful at times and which brought you down to its knees, this truth of life would have remained always hidden. It is the hard times that give you freedom.
So, would you brace the tough times?