When Difficult Times Arise, How Do You Deal With Them?
Life may sometimes hit us over the head with such force that it steals our breath away.
A loved one passes away, you lose your job, someone you care about becomes ill, your car is wrecked, or you become despondent.
What do we do when the world around us falls apart and we can't see a path out?
When things are going apart, the ideal moment to cultivate mindfulness and compassion is when things are falling apart. When we meditate consistently with mindfulness and compassion during non-traumatic moments, we are, in a sense, preparing for these times.
The richest areas of exploration are when the world is crumbling, and we need the tools the most.
So, the best approach to deal with these situations is to stay with the discomfort. Don't run away from it, don't attempt to change it; instead, face it with bravery.
Stay with the body sensations, sinking below your tale, and smile at them, be nice with them, and have the courage to just be with them like you would a suffering friend.
If that's all you can manage, do it in tiny doses. Patience is required, as you will notice that your mind wants to race. Keep coming back, and you'll gain confidence in your ability to deal with the negative emotions.
Eventually, you realize that the sensations aren't that awful, that you can remain with them and the world won't end, that they'll pass you by like a passing cloud, and that these feelings and ideas aren't you, but rather transient phenomena. You'll begin to take things less seriously, to realize that they're not such a big deal, to hold them lightly, to give them mental space.
This is the moment to practice while the world is coming apart.