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Peace, Even Through Difficult Times

by Robert Puff, PhD Part of "going with the flow" is keeping your expectations appropriate to what is. Just be, and at the same time learn to love what is. Here's an example of something that taught me the meaning of "going with the flow." Because of poor decisions made by a lending institution, I unexpectedly had a major financial line of credit closed. It's easy to go into panic mode when a crisis like this hits, especially when it comes to monetary issues. Although I felt the disturbing event and acknowledged my initial panic, I set about doing what needed to be done to remedy the situation. First I called the financial institution and tried to fix things there, but to no avail. So I simply opened up an account at a more stable institution, and a month later everything was back to normal. I spent less than six hours fixing the situation over a several-week period. Of course, I could have easily spent countless hours worrying and fretting about it. But I chose not to; instead I chose to accept it and move on.

Throughout the world's ups and downs, the road to peace and happiness has been around through eons. For example, this message is evident in both the Christian Bible and the Bhagavad-Gita, the sacred writings of the Hindu philosophy. Essentially, the ancient texts tell the faithful to find the healthiest seed, plant it in the richest soil, and water it with the clearest, cleanest water. Then add the perfect amount of sunshine and shade. But if it is to grow, that's God's job. In simpler terms, God's will is being done, and all is well. We human beings have limited minds and don't always see how the Universe or God is working out his or her plan out.

But in these troubled times, life sometimes seems scarier than ever before. Troubles sometimes seem to abound all around. How am I to know my place in the universe?

Try to imagine that you're a little screw on the Saturn 5 Rocket on its way to the moon. All that you're able to perceive is from a screw's perspective. Everything seems to be going fine. Then suddenly, the rocket begins to shake violently. Let's extrapolate. The violent shaking of the rocket is like losing your job, home, or marriage. Perhaps it's a death in the family. In other words, something really huge has upset your life and has thrown you into a tail spin. But the belief would be that there is a plan (i.e. making a trip to the moon), even though as the tiny screw you may not know the end results. Some ultimate meaning and purpose is there, but because of your limited perspective, the small screw cannot understand why the violence is occurring right now. This is a faith issue. But that does not mean that the rocket won't make it to the moon. Perhaps there is an ultimate purpose for the troubling things in your life, like getting a better job or growing closer to your family. Human perspective is small, but the Universe or God sees the big picture.

If you truly want peace and happiness, accept that what is happening right now is God's will. Work towards your goals, alleviate pain and suffering in the world in as many ways as you can. But once you have done your part, leave the results to God -- or the Universe, or whatever you call the divine intelligence. All is well when you flow with what is. Of course, do your best at everything you do. Improve and grow, but according to all the great religious texts of the world, the final results are in God's hands.

If you trust in this belief, you may find that life is much easier you won't have to know the reason for everything that is happening in your life right now. Just know that there is a reason. Relax and flow with life.

"Thy will be done." At its core, "Thy will be done" means that what is happening right now is exactly what is supposed to be happening. It is God's...or the Universe's will. Isn't that the same thing as living in the now and accepting what is?

I'd like to share one of my favorite quotes: The Serenity Prayer. It says:

God grant me the serenity
To accept the things I cannot change;
The courage to change the things I can;
And the wisdom to know the difference.

Basically, it advises us to change what we can and accept what we cannot. In other words, go with the flow. Make a copy of the Serenity Prayer and read it as often as possible to help you understand how to go with the flow, even in these troubled times.

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Posted: 07/21/2009

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