Adversity will hit all of us. We are no stranger to that. We will feel some sort of pain or suffering throughout our existence. That is the status of human life.
I am no stranger to adversity. I’ve had bouts with anxiety, sadness, suffering throughout my 37 years of existence. I’ve felt insufficient in college, and sometimes a bit lonely. I’ve felt anxiety during my years traveling abroad in China and France. I’ve felt the sting of painful and hasty breakups. And throughout the years, I’ve tried not to overthink it all.
I try to take the high road. I try to stay positive and blissed out with what I still have in my life. And as I look back, I realize that I have quite a lot. A lot of things to be thankful for. Instead of looking back in regret and anger, I look back with peace and acceptance. Of everything that has happened. And all that will follow. The good and the bad. The beautiful and the ugly. The fortunate and the unfortunate.
Everything, I will try to embrace and accept with open arms. Because the struggles and challenges that I will face through life - whether it be professional or personal - can help shape me into a better individual. It has helped shape me into the person I am today.
If not for my bouts with social anxiety, I would not have become a member of Toastmasters International. An organization that given my life that much more added meaning and purpose. An organization where I’ve met so many wonderful members and overall human beings. This bout with anxiety was a blessing in disguise. An opportunity to embrace life head on (quirks and all). And come out a better person.
This is what it means to take the high road. To look back on all the beauties and ugliness of life with gratitude instead of anger. Looking back at all the good times. The good memories. The portions of happiness that have made you into who you are. The portions of sadness that have made you suffer but you have gone thru nonetheless.
It’s all meant for something. Everything is meant for greatness. Everyone is meant to achieve and prosper. Taking the high road means that we look back on our challenges with gratitude. And we embrace the opportunity for more bumps and bruises along the way down the road. It’s all meant for something, and we all have our own purposes and passions to pursue. So, don’t complain. Don’t point fingers and blame your happiness on others.
Try to look within at everything that you have in life. How being born, you are already a winner by default. How being alive is a blessing unto itself. How being able to breathe the cold (or warm) air into and out of your lungs is a biological achievement unto itself. The human body is a magnificent tool to optimize and utilize.
It’s all within the mind. Look within. Find peace from within. Don’t rely on external circumstances for your happiness and bliss. You have all you really need on the inside. Yes, don’t get me wrong, you still have to interact with the outside world. You still have relationships that you need to work on. You still have to work. You still have responsibilities to your community.
But, there is a way to mutually be sufficient and at peace from within, while operating externally at the same time. One practice to improve your mind is meditation. The practice of looking within. Not grasping. Not looking for the next high. Not looking to achieve a certain state or a certain goal. Not chasing a good feeling or trying to get rid of a bad feeling. Simply being for the sake of being. Practicing for the sake of practicing.
This practice of meditation can help you achieve something much more important than all the money in the world. All the houses and girlfriends and cars and boats in the world. This practice can help you achieve inner peace. Relieve you from suffering. See the world thru the eyes of sufficiency rather than the desire to achieve more greatness. It’s a tiring, never-ending journey. So, give this practice a shot. You won’t regret it.
Just realize that there will be bumps and bruises along the way. I am no different. I’ve encountered so many bumps and bruises this year that I am starting to wonder what life will be like without the inevitable drawback. It seems to be a never-ending process. And at times, I want to just wither and crawl down a rabbit hole. At times, I wish for a better feeling. A more complete feeling.
I look at what others have. And I think to myself that I don’t have enough. That I am incomplete without this thing or that status. That I need to have this much more, and then I will be inevitably happy and sufficient. I need to realize myself that there is no end to wanting more. To feeling insufficient. There is no end to thinking that when I achieve this or get that, then I will be fulfilled.
Just take the high road. Be at peace with where you are and what you’ve done. It is easier said than done. But it is possible. Just meditate. Take it one step at a time. Go do things that you enjoy. Extracurricular hobbies. Hanging out with friends. And don’t play the blame game. Just live your life to the fullest with no regrets and look within for all the bliss you need to be happy and at peace.