Wednesday, February 1, 2012

Trouble and the Soul's Purposes

Life is trouble! Only death is not. To be alive is to undo your belt and look for trouble!
--Zorba the Greek

How does trouble serve the purposes of the soul? How can it be that what the ego hates to endure is so often what feeds the soul? Is it possible that the most difficult people, the most straitened circumstances, the longest hauls are really our greatest teachers? (And how rarely we give them credit or show them gratitude!)

Just for today, consider your greatest trouble, past or present, from the soul's perspective. Did you go to war to kill or be killed, only to find your own humanity? Suffer a terrible loss only to find your heart opened more fully to love? Endure a difficult relationship in order to discover that it built in you a sound set of personal boundaries? Stand up for a principle or person (including yourself) even though it cost you a job or a friendship?

  In order that we do not feel ourselves victimized by life's pains, it's important to consider the growth into insight, compassion, ethical strength or moral character that trouble brings. Trouble serves the soul.

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