How to Make Your Life Struggles a Path to True Contentment and Love
When you come into this world, there is struggle. When the baby first appears in this world—your first act is to struggle, to take a breath, to breathe air, to learn how to fill your lungs with air. And so you struggle against the complacency to find air to survive. And that is the beginning of human life in this world of form. From then on, there is one effort that must be made after another, after another, after another, to survive, to sustain, to maintain. So struggle is a natural part of human existence. There is both calm and peace and then there is struggle. There is light and there is darkness. There is day and there is night. Without the night, how would you know the light? Without struggle, how would you survive? Even fear has its place in human life. If you have no fear at all, you will simply walk in front of a car with no concern, but because you are afraid to die, you avoid that action—because you have a fundamental part of your body that wants to survive, that is geared for survival. This is part of what you accept when you accept a human form. So in this life, there is both opportunity for peace and there is great struggle and difficulty. They go hand in hand. There is in every human being a restlessness, a deep restlessness. When you achieve something in your life that makes you really happy, you feel as you’re about to achieve it, “Now I can be really happy. Now I can relax, because I will soon achieve this great feat, this great situation which will transform my life.” Then you achieve that situation, that circumstance in your life, and for a little time you feel at peace. But it doesn’t take very long at all before this restlessness begins to appear again and you want something more, you want something else.
So, in human life there is always this wanting of something, something, and even when there is great peace and achievement this restlessness continues to appear. But this restlessness, like struggle, is not necessarily your enemy. Without struggle you would not be able to survive. And without this fundamental restlessness of your spirit, you would not be able to grow in understanding, wisdom, and love, to recognize your divine nature. There is in this incarnation into human bodies, a fall from a certain level of grace.
You enter into the physical world and as a spirit, as a being, you must then interact in the body, interact in the world, and you struggle. And most of all, you struggle to find happiness, to find real true contentment, peace, and love. And in that struggle, you grow and you grow. If you stop struggling to find these deeper parts of yourself, to find this real joy in life, what will you have? You will just stay at a state of separation and duality, a state where your deeper heart needs are not being met, and you just accept it? No, it is fundamentally against the natural leanings of the human psyche. To learn contentment is not to have stagnancy and complacency. They are different. Stagnancy and complacency stops you in your growth, in your development. True contentment allows you to expand and widen and find the peace within you. For real contentment is not a state of stagnancy. It’s a dynamic state of peace. It is love fulfilled. It is complete acceptance of yourself.
You know, the problem is, if you’re going to love anyone else, you must first learn to love yourself. If you cannot love yourself, how can you love anyone else? The skill is not there. The skill comes to learn to love yourself. To learn to accept your human weakness, to accept your frailties, your missteps, your lack of meeting your ambitions, your mistakes. When you learn to truly love yourself and accept yourself for who you are, what you are, then you are on your way to calm, to peace, to contentment, to being content with yourself. You know, how many people do you know who are truly content with themselves, truly at peace with themselves, that are not caught in some sort of self-criticism, some sort of self-doubt, some negative self-attitude, some negative self-judgment? And, do those negative self-judgments inevitably play out in your relationships to others as well? Do you not express those same judgments towards others?
To have compassion is to love without condition. Compassionate love is love that does not judge, that isn’t contingent on a particular circumstance: “If you do this in the way that I want, then I will love you.” “If you love me then I love you.” This is a business deal, not love. “If you give me so much then I will pay so much for it.” Love is not a business deal. Love is something you have in your heart, something you freely have and freely give to everyone. And when you deeply love someone, it’s opening that passion in your heart. So to find real peace, real contentment is to find real love, compassionate love. It is to be impassioned with love, love for life, love for truth, love for love. Can you see the forms of all beings and open your heart with a feeling of love?
Even those who do great harm in the world do so because they are ignorant. Because they themselves are wounded in their capacities to love themselves and to love others. And due to their psychic wounds they create pain in the lives of others. It is not that you support such actions, but that you have compassion and understanding, though you may stand against it for the welfare of all beings. So the struggle, the restlessness within you is that which motivates you, moves you, to find your passion, to find your love, and to find how to access deep contentment which comes with deep self-love, isn’t it?
When you really love yourself, when you really look around you, you see the plants, you see the animals, you see the people, you see the blue in the sky, you see the trees and the green grass and you’re at peace, you’re in love, you’re in harmony with life. When you’re in harmony with all existence then you have peace. Then the heart is open, flowing in love. And when this happens, the restlessness of the soul settles, and when you move out of this love, out of this peace, again this restlessness comes, and those things which you might occupy yourself with of the world they only fulfill for a time. Because if they were able to really fulfill, you would never grow to know your spirit, to know your deep heart’s core, to know the love which is your source. Naturally your spirit is restless, because it wants to return to source. It’s a natural movement. It’s your natural, clear movement of being through human life, to the source of your being. And in the sojourn in these bodies you have opportunity through the struggles, the trials and tribulations and difficulties of human life to gain deeper wisdom and understanding, and to grow in love until you find the wholeness of your own being.
The Yogis of old would say, to have God-realization, to realize God, you must have a human form. And even the Devis, even the high gods and goddesses in the astral realms, and other higher realms, they seek these human forms for their final liberation. Why? Because it is in the human form that you have the opportunity of struggle and to choose between light and darkness. You have the opportunity in human life to find your way to deep peace, deep truth, and endless compassion. This is the great opportunity of human life, and sometimes struggle and hardship are your best friends, guiding you away from the pitfalls of life. Should you be content just to ride on the surface of life? Or should you go deep, deep, to your deepest truth, to the deep love? So the teacher comes in many forms, some pleasant, some not-so-pleasant. Remember where you go, remember always.