Facing Life’s Challenges!

Disciple : Master, how does one overcome pain and suffering in life?
Master : (Without hesitation) By tackling the challenges head-on.
Disciple : Could you please elaborate? You seem so peaceful all the time… I wish to learn that.
Master : Dear one, please understand that my life was not devoid of sadness and frustration. Like most people, I have had my fair share of career and relationship failures. It was during those periods that I realized I needed to educate myself more about life. As such, I started embracing the teachings of wise people from the past and present.
Disciple : So, were you married before?
Master : Yes but it ended with a separation.
Disciple : You must have been devastated …
Master : Sad, I was … but even that episode taught me so much … You see, we tried so hard to salvage our relationship … But in the end, I realized that we were just trying to force things to happen … Initially, arguments happened because we wanted the other to compromise first … Then when we tried suppressing our own feelings by succumbing to the other’s wishes , we became depressed.
Disciple : That’s why you sought divorce?
Master : I call it separation … I don’t hate her now because I realized she was just a reflection of the things I needed to work on myself. When my ego was at the forefront, I argued to insist that she should change instead of me. Anger was consuming me all the time. All there was left was bitterness in my heart. When I tried the opposite approach, I compromised so much of who I am, that I felt trapped as a slave to that relationship.
Disciple : So what happened afterwards?
Master : In the end, we had a heart-to-heart talk and came to the understanding that we need not sacrifice our identity to the extent of depriving our happiness. We understood we were unique in our way. By separation, we were gifting the other freedom to express without harboring bitterness towards each other. It was liberating. But please do not misunderstand that all marriages should end that way. In my observation, every relationship including business relationships taught me more about life. Always, there is something to learn.
Disciple : Sorry, I really didn’t know you had such challenges.
Master : You need not be sorry … By the way, you see yourself as a disciple but yet I cognize you as your own Master.
Disciple : But how can I see myself as such when there is so much I’m still learning from you?
Master : Dear one, Mastery of self… as with life, is not a destination but a journey. A true Master is one who applies what he has learnt diligently and also understands … that there is more to learn. Growth is what a Master seeks… not stagnation. And challenges are the seeds for such growth.
Disciple : That’s very enlightening… But what if the challenge is like a heavy downpour?
Master : Should that be the case, then open your umbrella of courage and perseverance. Also by remembering that nothing is permanent. Comfort yourself in knowing that it too shall come to pass.
Disciple : Oh my…
Master : And at the end of each challenging period , comes the joy of knowing how far one has progressed, yes?
Disciple : I suppose so!
Master : Excellent… you have now understood the true reward of Life… the realization of Mastery within!

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