life is hard

Life is Hard for Good Reason

“Even though life is hard, even though it is sometimes difficult to smile, we have to try. Just as when we wish each other, ‘Good morning,’ it must be a real ‘Good morning.’ Recently, one friend asked me, ‘How can I force myself to smile when I am filled with sorrow? It isn’t natural.’ I told her she must be able to smile to her sorrow, because we are more than our sorrow. A human being is like a television set with millions of channels. If we turn the Buddha on, we are the Buddha. If we turn sorrow on, we are sprrow. If we turn a smile on, we really are the smile. We cannot let just one channel dominate us. We have the seed of everything in us, and we have to seize the situation in our hand, to recover our own sovereignty.

“When we sit down peacefully, breathing and smiling, with awareness, we are our true selves, we have sovereignty over ourselves. When we open ourselves up to a TV program, we let ourselves be invaded by the program. Sometimes it is a good program, but often it is just noisy. … Even if our nervous system suffers, we don’t have the courage to stand up and turn it off,because if we do that, we will have to return to ourselves.” ~Thich Nhat Hanh

Life is Hard

Yes, life is hard. But as the song says, “I never promised you a rose garden”. Life on Earth, life in the material world is rarely, if ever, always pleasant. That is actually a good thing. If life here was always great, we would have no desire, no incentive, to seek a better life, a life of spirit. But even though life is hard, we can’t let it get us down and keep us gloomy all the time. We have to seek reasons to smile, reasons to have joy. So yes, life is hard, but you don’t have to be hard. Life is full of sorrows, but you don’t have to be trapped in sorrow. Continue reading “Life is Hard for Good Reason”

cheer yourself

Cheer Yourself Up with Positive Thoughts and Deeds

“When thou wilt comfort and cheer thyself, call to mind the several gifts and virtues of them, whom thou dost daily converse with; as for example, the industry of the one; the modesty of another; the liberality of a third; of another some other thing. For nothing can so much rejoice thee as the resemblance and parallels of several virtues, visible and eminent in the dispositions of those who live with thee; especially when, all at once, as near as may be, they represent themselves unto thee. And therefore thou must have them always in a readiness.

“It is in thy power absolutely to exclude all manner of conceit and opinion, as concerning this matter; and by the same means; to exclude all grief and sorrow from thy soul. For as for the things and objects themselves, they of themselves have no such power, whereby to beget and force upon us any opinion at all.

“That which is not good for the beehive, cannot be good for the bee.

“No man can hinder thee to live as thy nature doth require. Nothing can happen unto thee, but what the common good of nature doth require.” ~Marcus Aurelius

Comfort and Cheer Yourself

Marcus is correct in telling us how to cheer ourselves when we are feeling down. If we are feeling sad, angry, or disappointed with people, look around us at those we live with, work with and hang around with. What virtues do they have? How do they bring us joy? How have they helped us? What do they do that benefits others in the world? When we look at the positive rather than dwelling on the negative, we will generally find that things are not so bad after all.

And it doesn’t stop there. If we can’t get a pet to behave, if the dog chewed up your new gloves, remember the good they have done and the joy they have brought to you rather than dwelling on the negative. Of course, you can teach them not to do such things, but don’t dwell on the problem so long it does more harm to you than to the animal.

If you are angry with your government and its policies or behavior, whether on the city, state, or national level, you may be justified. However, dwelling on it until it gives you ulcers and gray hair is not wise. As quickly as you can, remind yourselves of the benefits you get from the government—and don’t say “None!”. We all get some benefits from the government, but few of us stop to think of it regularly, if at all. Do you put money in a bank? Would you do that if the government didn’t have a guaranteed reimbursement policy on lost deposits? Would you or your children read as much if there were no public libraries? Would you feel safe on the streets of there were no police? There are many more such questions to ask yourself and contemplate how you benefit from the government, but I’ll stop there, having made the point.

And if none of that works, just do something that cheers you up. Go to a concert or a movie. Take a walk in a park. Go on a vacation. Just don’t sit around angry, sad, or depressed. That hurts no one but you. Don’t just stay angry or depressed, cheer yourself! Continue reading “Cheer Yourself Up with Positive Thoughts and Deeds”

sorrow gift

The Sorrow Gift and How it Benefits Us

“Although thou bringest sorrow to mortals, without thee and this sorrow-gift there could be no bright hereafter. Thou art just, Elidorhpa, and always wise. Love is the seed, and sorrow is the harvest, but this harvest of sadness is to man the richest gift of love, the golden link that joins the spirit form that has fled to the spirit that is still enthralled on earth. … He who has sorrowed and not profited by his sorrow-lesson is unfitted for life. He who heeds his sorrow teacher is in closest touch with humanity. She who has drank most deeply of sorrow’s cup has best fitted herself for … a final home of immortal bliss. “ ~John Uri Lloyd

“Blessed are those who are sad. They will be comforted.” ~Matthew 5:4

Sorrow Gift

The whole idea of sorrow as a gift sounds crazy to most of us. We talk about happiness being a gift. We say that the pursuit of happiness is a right that governments cannot take away. No one ever says such things about sorrow.

Yet what happens to people who are always happy? They are content. They enjoy their life just as it is and do not seek to change anything. It is a type of “don’t rock the boat” attitude. Why mess with it when it seems to be fine. This is who governments do their best to promote entertainments and similar activities that keep us happy and contented little sheep.

But the sorrow gift is a gift because it can awaken us to the foolish life we lead, and the foolish things we see around us that we accept as normal.

Nostradamus is one well-known case where a man had a spiritual awakening after great sorrow entered his life. Jesus experiences the sorrow gift quite a bit during his earthbound life. Most all great spiritual and religious leaders either were awakened by the sorrow gift, or experienced it regularly after their awakening.


The empathic person is one who is well acquainted with the sorrow gift. No matter how happy their life should be, they experience sorrow simply by feeling it in others. As an empath myself, I can just walk past a funeral parlor and get very sad by picking up the feelings of those inside. That can seem like a curse at times, but it is also a gift. It is a gift when it helps us understand others. The sorrow gift can also make us want to change the world we live in. Continue reading “The Sorrow Gift and How it Benefits Us”