Wednesday, December 3, 2008

Facing Life's Challenges

Today, it's difficult to find feel-good news. Most of the news is about home foreclosures, government bailouts, topsy-turvy stock markets, terrorism, political shenanigans, and many other uncertainties. Unfortunately, we cannot escape the constant diet of gloom and doom without resorting to reclusive lifestyles.

One of the primary reasons I am writing this blog is to move away from this type of news saturation. I want to talk about how to overcome the deleterious news by discussing how to express our positive potential in our everyday actions.

For many people, it is difficult to let go of harmful habits. Some of us have habits embedded so deep within us that they keep us tied to victim beliefs. They just don't seem to go away no matter what we read, listen to, or meditate on. When we reach this point in our lives, we are usually willing to listen, or to seek answers from different sources.

A key factor in listening is to know what you want to do. What are the things that are important to you? Do you really care about politics, religion, personal growth, family, and so forth? Perhaps these are things you only embrace for social and political correctness. They might also be the distractions victimizing you. In other words, it's your attachment to other people issues that's causing you problems.

Meanwhile, if your problem is addictive behavior to food, alcohol, or drugs, you might consider seeking information from sources other than the media. If you have a serious, life-threatening illness, you might consider seeking assistance from a medical or spiritual practitioner. And, if you are facing foreclosure, layoff, or bankruptcy, you must first empower yourself to face the issues.

It is you who must act from an empowered position when you face difficult challenges. The manner in which we face life's challenges determines who we are. We either face them as victims or as empowered individuals. It's not so much what's the problem, but who are you in the problem.

One of the greatest lessons we learn on our journey is that life is never uncertain. Everything that appears to be uncertain is actually predictable. The calamities, including some ecological ones, we encounter are caused by us. Regardless to how hard we try to blame them on someone else.

When we really stop and think about it, there's nothing uncertain about dying, illness, and financial problems. When we are facing financial difficulties, it is because of the decisions we made. While we seek security and prosperity in our lives, we also know it's possible for us to lose our jobs and the financial security they provide us.

Similarly, there's nothing uncertain about becoming ill. It happens to people every day. We know that nearly all of our illnesses are caused by our thoughts, the foods we eat, and our behavior. If we worry a lot, eat unhealthy foods, embrace anger and hatred for ourselves and others, and have sedentary lifestyles, you can be assured of having some type of illness.

To seek peace, one must first understand how to live with life's uncertainties, and not seek to escape from them by daydreaming of a better life in the future. When we face our present situations, and not become sidetracked by news reports of impending doom, we detach ourselves from the illusions of fear and uncertainty.

Nevertheless, unless we envision a successful future, we inevitably accept the present moment as depressing. It becomes difficult for us to perceive success and happiness even when we feel this way. The small things -- good health, family, friends, and work -- that bring us happiness fade into worthless passing moments as we contemplate the dreary news of tomorrow.

We have to use our time to develop the positive potential in ourselves. This means being present in every decision we make. It means we are responsible for what we eat, drink, think, and do.

When we face life in the present moment, we are able to wash away all the pernicious thoughts of the future.

"Seeds from the Ashes" is coming in 2009.