Thursday, August 14, 2014

Why Bad Times Can Be Good

"We must embrace pain and burn it as fuel for our journey."

Kenji Miyazawa

Nobody likes bad times, but they can have some advantages if we can be present to our difficulties.  Here are some potential advantages to difficulties and bad times.  Here’s why even bad times can be good:
·      They can help us focus on what’s really important.
·      They can make us grateful for the good things, both past and present.
·      They can make us humble.
·      They can make us more sensitive to the suffering of others.
·      They can help us focus on our work.
·      They are a great fuel for creativity.
·      They can cause us to have insights we might not otherwise have.
·      They are great teachers.
·      They make great stories.
·      They can cause us to look for new ways of health and healing, ways that we can share with others.
·      They can cause us to seek God.
·      They cause to reach out to others for help.
·      They can cause to use our own inner strength.

There may be more.  This wasn’t meant to be an exhaustive list.   And there’s no guarantee of any of these things happening.  But they can, if we humble ourselves, if we look for the meaning.
Not all bad events have a meaning or a reason.  It’s irresponsible and self-defeating to think that every thing that happens is for a reason.  Sometimes people, in an attempt to provide comfort or understanding say, “I’m sorry for your tragedy but there’s a reason for it.” 
Spiritually minded folks might say God allowed it or worse, caused it as part of some cosmic plan, lesson, or retribution.  There’s no reason for some of the evils that exist.  Genocide, forced starvation, sexual slavery, disease, and suicides are not part of God’s plan.  They were not sent here to teach us something.  They weren’t sent here at all.  But we can still learn from them and we can build upon these tragedies, and lesser tribulations to change things as we know them.
On a personal level, if we are open to what is happening, we can find meaning in pain, even if no meaning was intended.  We can build upon troubles and tragedy to make our own lives and the world a better place.  We can take advantage of the bad times and make create meaning.  We can Get Started and Keep Going down the road of growth, giving, and forgiveness.  Even bad times can be good.