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Maiara Musings

"Problems can not be solved by the level of awareness that created them" Albert Einstein

HOW OUR MISFORTUNES SHAPE US – An Essay

Written by KKMaiara

When one hears the word treasure the image of treasure chest halfway buried under the green slime and some odd dead sea creatures somewhere deep down on the bottom of the sea right beside an old eons ago sunken, half rotten pirate ship pops into one’s mind. Maybe that is true and something like that really does exists in other than the old stories. For anything to be called treasure it has to be of value and certainly it should not be that easy to acquire. In my mind there are treasures of different kinds. One can of course set the course to faraway lands in a look for real material treasures of monetary worth. Or imagine an old person sitting alone in her well-kept but rather old-fashioned and randomly disarrayed living room surrounded by the memories of old pictures and odd items she has collected over the many years of her life. Then there are those moments of absolute happiness in our lives that we will cherish until the day we die: The birth of our children, special occasions, meeting of the loved one etc. Every one of us has a slightly different picture in our heads when it comes to the word treasure and I am about to add one more, rather unexpected image to the long list of already existing ideas that we carry along.

The reason I am writing this essay is quite different from what you might expect from the introduction. I can’t exactly pinpoint the moment of this realization I had, but I am quite certain that it arose from the complete frustration and misery I was going through. For this is what I realized: Our lives are constantly evolving and with the change we have to adjust, otherwise we will be left behind in evolution. It is unfortunately usually the bad, the unexpected, the difficult part of life that has the most profound impact on our lives. When our lives become so hard, so intolerable that we are ready to crawl into a dark corner pulling a hood over our heads, desperately wishing the world to end, it is then that we are facing a choice. And an important choice it is, for our future happiness is depending on the next step we take. There are exactly three roads to choose from regardless of the situation.

First one is to do nothing, we will sit in that corner crying until there are no tears left. Then, with sore muscles, exhausted  soul and numb brain we slowly get up and accept that this is our life and there is no hope for a change and that we better suck it up and continue our drab, solidly grey, rather depressing existence. Then the second approach is anger, great resentment and hatred towards our world that is so unfair and cruel, the world that seems to provide all the good for others but never anything for us. The world that simply hates us. With the renewed energy and the anger that fuels our soul we jump off that dark corner, vowing to beat the world, to show others that we are no losers, others are, and we simply choose to ignore and forget that anything bad ever happened. Lastly comes my realization which is the third option. The road that I have, after a very long and extremely rough life full of setbacks, chosen to take. My road is that of treasures. I have made a conscious decision to look into my heart for the hidden treasure in every unfortunate event of my life. There is the corner in my heart reserved just for those treasures, a treasure box that is unfortunately getting rather large as I get older, a box that only I have a key to. In this box I have locked away the wisdom learned from my life’s misfortunes, unhappiness and disasters that have paved my path on this long and lonely journey.

Difficulties of life such as living with virtually no money and tossing and turning at night worrying about the next day and the reality that the day will be that of struggle and worry is no laughing matter. Yes, it is stressful when you have to constantly worry about trying to meet the day-to-day basic needs of yours and those loved ones so dependent on you. And yes, it is so easy to spend every waking moment fretting over the bad news your doctor gave you creating monsters and horror scenarios of your imminent future. And yes again, it is ever so easy to succumb under the pressure and sink into the dull existence numbing our senses and our brains. Everyone quite certainly has visited that place one time or another and knows exactly how it feels and how hard it is to wake up to the different world. To the world where one takes a leap of faith and starts to believe in herself by digging into the  uncharted corners of her existence thus finding strengths and gifts hiding behind the black veil of life that nobody knew even existed.  It is those gifts of unknown strength and surprise within us that are the most valued treasures of all. It is those little idiosyncrasies  in our personalities that we previously thought were drowning us that at the moment of great need will surface as our strengths and will pull us up from the depths of our misery.

So surprisingly it is our bad luck, misfortune, suffering and illness that are the building blocks of our true nature. Without suffering there is no need for a person to change, to contemplate his or her life and existence. There is no need for an intellectual and spiritual growth that comes when one is forced to look at herself honestly after all the black veils are drawn aside. It is then easy to go on living from birth to the grave blindfolded and deaf, without deeper sense of universe around us and without ever realizing our true spirituality and humanity. But if we open our eyes and our hearts to truly listen the universe wondrous thing will happen: Deep peace inside fills the void that we did not even know existed and the certainty that everything will be all right because we have everything given for us already penetrates through the consciousness alerting us to the fact that indeed we are lacking nothing. For majority of  people it takes suffering and unexpected encounters of life to come to this realization. For it is not until we have the need, a real need, that we truly start probing and searching the inner resources we have. And even then it might take a some mighty serious events before we truly realize the power within us. The gifts and skills that we were born with and some of which we have collected along the way, those are the building blocks for a solid foundation of life. So next time when the day feels overwhelming, the disaster looming and optimism disappearing try tapping to your unknown resources and remember the hidden treasures that lie deep buried in our misfortunes.

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