If you are in difficult times now, I feel your heart and my prayer goes to you. In Indonesia, we grow up seeing these hard times as part of life and it is called “cobaan” or can be translated as as “exam” or “trial” times. We see this is necessary for our soul to grow up.
If you say to a stranger that you are in difficult times, you most likely get an understanding nod, an encouragement and a prayer. We believe we do not get a situation that is beyond our capacity to take it. This situation can go from personal up to a nation-wide difficult time such as a catastrophe or natural disaster. How can we apply this eastern wisdom to survive the storm when it hits our life at its core?
Learn from it and it makes you stronger
Kelly Clarkson sings “What Doesn’t Kill You Makes You Stronger”. Once, I was sitting with a friend who was in difficult time and we were listening to this song. After a while she said that she does not want to be stronger anymore, she just wants to be free from difficult time. Growing up as Indonesian with this understanding of difficult time, I had to smile and said she was being silly.
Things are not always like what we wanted it to be. Indonesian wisdom says that if we passed this difficult time, our souls are upgraded to the next level towards enlightment – just like passing grades at school. But if we don’t learn anything from our difficult time – and just suffer – the similar situation would always come back to us until we learn from it. If you look around, most people who are centered, present and wise have been through some incredible difficult times. This difficult time, in truth, can make us stronger.
Surrender to something bigger.
This is a concept that does not fit in a fast, aggressive world. We tend to fight our way; to get what we want. Surrender is mistaken for giving up. But try this: when your plan seems to fall apart, instead of fighting it, accept it. The Indonesians believe that God – The Divine – The Universal Consciousness, whatever you want to call it – has a better plan for you. Have faith that there is a purpose why you must go this process. Pain is inevitable, but suffering is optional. Surrender to something bigger, surrender to this force. Have faith.
Look at the things that go well
Another advice during the difficult time is to focus on what is good. Find one thing that you can be grateful of. There is always something you can be grateful of. Even just being able to move your toes! It sounds ridiculous at times, that you are grateful for something that seems insignificant when something major has badly happened.
But being grateful is a state of mind, and it is half the battle. The Indonesians are known for saying “At least I still can / have … that I can be grateful of”. For example, if we fall of a bike and destroy the bike, we say at least we still can walk. This attitude brings gratitude to life and the effect is amazing.
I do hope that these wisdoms can help you to get through your difficult times. I really like an advice I got years a go: Don’t pray for an easy life; pray for the strength to endure a difficult moment that leads us into a better soul. With this, I send you lots of love and lights to get through your challenges. See you in the other side!