“If thou are paying the penalty of a mistaken belief, thou canst not rightly impute the fault to circumstances. If it is the felicity which Fortune gives that moves thee—mere name thou it may be—come reckon up with me how rich thou art in the number and weightiness of thy blessings. … What right hast thou to talk of ill-fortune when keeping all fortune’s better gifts? …
“Fortune’s hate hath not involved all thy dear ones, the stress of the storm that has assailed thee is not beyond measure intolerable. … Who enjoys such settles felicity as not to have some quarrel with the circumstances of his lot? … So petty are the trifles which rob the most fortunate of perfect happiness!” ~Boethius
Can’t Get Satisfaction
Few of us are ever satisfied with our conditions in life, at least all of the time. We all have those periods when are circumstances are not pleasant. No one has a perfect life all the time. While it may be hard to believe, this is actually fortunate. Yes, it is a good thing that sometimes things happen to us that we don’t like. On top of that, psychiatrists say that frequently complaining about things can lead to depression and low self-esteem.
One reason why it is a good thing is Karma, or the Golden Rule of Christianity. In short, this rule says what we give out, we get back. We may not get it back right away, or in the same form, but we do get it back.
If we do something mean to another person, and we get back karma that pleases us, we would learn nothing. When we do something wrong or stupid, we should get a response from karma that lets us know it was stupid. Unfortunately, many people simply gripe and moan when something bad happens to them. Rarely do any of us look at it and honestly ask, “What did I do to deserve this?”. If we started doing that, we might figure it out and stop doing the things that cause problems.
Growth Through Adversity
In truth, we are all somewhat lazy. We don’t like to do more than is necessary. We even have many popular sayings about it, such as:
- “Don’t fix it if it isn’t broken.”
- “It may not be perfect, but something else could be worse.”
- “He may not be a great President/Senator/Governor, but at least we know what to expect with him.”
Under those circumstances, a person who is totally happy with his life is not likely to make any effort to change. This is especially true when it come to spiritual growth. The person who has all that he thinks he needs in the material world is not going to seek for something beyond it. Satisfaction breeds laziness.
Fortunately, it is rare for anyone to be completely satisfied. Unfortunately, it is not rare for people to bitch and moan about it, and do nothing to change.
If we want to satisfy that itch, that deep down urge to find something more, something better, a bigger pile of material possessions is not the answer. We need to seek for the spiritual. Often times, it is those little adversities in life that trigger our realization of this. Sometimes, it is a major adversity, like when Nostradamus lost his family to the plague.
While a so-called “Dark Night of the Soul” can trigger a seeking for something beyond the physical world, it doesn’t have to be that way. If we are smart enough to honestly start seeking truth and enlightenment without waiting for such an event, we may never have to experience one.
So let those minor difficulties trigger you to seek truth and acceptance instead of just complaining. True satisfaction come to those who make an honest effort to seek it.