I mentioned to a friend yesterday that I have been going through a difficult time lately. I told him that I feel like I’m swimming through concrete and that what I realty want to do lately is stay in bed. My friend said that he is grateful for the hard times because that is when he grows the most. He said: “I know that I absolutely have to turn everything difficult that happens into something positive.” When he said this my first thought was: “Well, I’m pretty tired of growing! I could do without another learning opportunity thank you very much!.” But I stopped myself and I took a long look at my friend. If anyone else had said such simple and admittedly cliché things to me I would have ignored them. However, the struggles my friend has faced over the past two and a half years make mine seem like a cake walk. He walks with a cane these days due to the fact that he has recently under gone several difficult surgeries to correct an injury. He is not allowed to drive and must rely on his wife and friends for rides. Two years ago he battled what could have been a fatal illness. Yet, he is smiling when he tells me that my problem really lies in my thinking.
What he said is nothing that I haven’t heard before. In fact, the woman with whom I meet once a week for spiritual growth work has told me that I need to change my thinking every time that I speak with her for a solid month. However, my friend sitting across from me holding his cane with a grin on his face was the messenger I needed.
When I woke up today instead of considering giving up on life and becoming the failure I have been thinking I am, I said a prayer of gratitude to Kwan Yin. I thanked her for my life. For the good parts and the parts that cause me pain. I figure if my friend can do it so can I.