Hardship, in forcing us to exercise greater patience and forbearance in daily life, actually makes us stronger and more robust. From the daily experience of hardship comes a greater capacity to accept difficulties without losing our sense of inner calm. Of course, I do not advocate seeking out hardship as a way of life, but merely wish to suggest that, if you relate to it constructively, it can bring greater inner strength and fortitude.
To choose a hardship for ourselves is our only defense against that hardship. This is what is meant by accepting suffering. Those who, by their very nature, can suffer completely, utterly, have an advantage. That is how we can disarm the power of suffering, make it our own creation, our own choice; submit to it. A justification for suicide.
Everyone who has ever overcome hardship or adversity has done so in large part because he or she has chosen, consciously or unconsciously, to "let go" of their past hardship and pain by embracing, what I call, a Miracle Angle - a way of seeing their circumstances that allowed them to transform their circumstances into a spark for positive change.
The most miserable man in the world of those meant for Paradise will be dipped once in Paradise. Then he will be asked, "Son of Adam, did you ever face any misery? Did you ever experience any hardship?" So he will say, "No, by God, O Lord! I never faced any misery, and I never experienced any hardship."
Now therefore, O our God, the great, mighty and awesome God, who keeps his covenant of love, do not let all this hardship seem trifling in your eyes--the hardship that has come upon us, upon our kings and leaders, upon our priests and prophets, upon our fathers and all your people, from the days of the kings of Assyria until today.
If we believe that tomorrow will be better, we can bear a hardship today. But that is the most that hope can do for us - to make some hardship lighter. When I think deeply about the nature of hope, I see something tragic. Since we cling to our hope in the future, we do not focus our energies and capabilities on the present moment. We use hope to believe something better will happen in the future, that we will arrive at peace, or the Kingdom of God. Hope becomes a kind of obstacle. If you can refrain from hoping, you can bring yourself entirely into the present moment and discover the joy that is already here.
Thech Nháº¥t Háº¡nh
My friends, don't idolize hardship. What you idolize is what your heart will look for and what your heart looks for is what you will have. And don't capitalize on misfortune, because you will always seek out to have capital! Throw away that pride! Don't put sorrow on a pedestal! If you ask me if I would rather have had my sorrows or not, I will tell you that no, I would rather have not had any of them! In the blink of an eye, I would rid myself of them! I have no pride. I don't rely on hardships and sorrows to mold me into someone. I don't allow myself to be dictated. When hardship and sorrow come knocking, saying "We are responsible for who you are today, let us in!" I'm going to say, in a split second, "No you're not! Go away, I don't owe you anything!
C. JoyBell C.