A great way to face any challenge in your Life is to find your center and drop anchor! In other words, it simply means, do not allow the mind to wander into the future with worry or go back to the past in grief or with guilt.
Sometime ago I found myself in a courtroom. I was in the dock, accused of cheating someone. The judge was a very fine man, very methodical, very disciplined. He had a great sense of humor too. His one-liners had everyone in splits – even rival parties presenting their cases in court enjoyed a good laugh. My situation was hardly laughable though. I had no money to repay the creditor who had filed the complaint against me. And it had become apparent that I had to face the consequences of what the law prescribed in such matters. If my petition was dismissed, I was likely to be arrested. And I had nobody in that city who could stand guarantee for my bail application. Even so, I remain engaged with the court proceedings – and heartily enjoyed the laughs that the judge’s comments generated! I sat by the window. It was raining heavily and it was windy too. The rain sprayed on my face and my shoulder, driven by the winds, after landing on the court’s balcony railing. Interestingly, I felt very peaceful as I sat there in that courtroom. The rain peppering my face, the judge’s humorous one-liners, the method to the madness of one judge having to deal with hundreds of cases in a day – all of this left me feeling remarkable and inspired – even if it was ironical I was feeling so, given my predicament!
Metaphorically, and in reality, a storm raged outside of me. But deep within, I felt good, at peace with myself, and engaged in the moment. In that moment, in the now, there was no fear, no anxiety, no worry and no guilt or grief. It was surreal. It was magical.
That’s when I understood the meaning of the phrase, “It is always peaceful in the eye of the storm.” The storms that ravage our lives – a debilitating health condition, a torturous relationship break-up, a business going bust, losing a reputation that’s painstakingly built, the sudden death of someone you love deeply – fill us with worry, grief and suffering. It may seem almost impossible not to worry or to grieve or to suffer. But there lies the best kept secret about intelligent living. In the now, when you are present, and engaged in the moment, there can be no worry. There is no cause for grief. And there isn’t any suffering.
You may wonder how this works. And if this really is true. Let me explain.
The way Life operates is that none of us can control what is happening to us. Life goes on happening. And all we can do is to respond to Life as it happens. Some of the happenings in your Life may shock you and sock you. You can find a million people to blame for your situation or you can even berate yourself for your plight. You can argue with reality – asking why things have happened to you! But be sure that all your fighting, all your resisting, will be completely futile. What I have learned is that Life’s crises are there only to help us find strength from within. That is the only place which is untouched by what goes on outside and that’s where you will be in total peace and feel infinitely secure! The human mind is like a large ship in the ocean of Life. When a storm hits the high seas, an ordinary vessel will be tossed around and may even drown. But modern day ships have stabilizers. They help the ship navigate deftly through rough waters. Similarly, the human mind too can be stabilized by training it to be present in the moment. When it is present in the now, the mind is powerless. The mind works and thrives only in a yet-to-be-born future or in a dead-and-gone past! That’s why worry, grief and suffering don’t affect you in the present moment! And that’s how you, your true Self, can be peaceful, despite the circumstances that you are placed in and despite the storms that will often rip apart your material Life! Finding strength in a crisis situation in Life really means letting go of the past and not worrying about the future – while being aware that everything in Life is impermanent – including Life’s storms!