Times Of Slump Are Great Learning Opportunities For The Soul

Life's Troubles

Life’s Ups And Downs Like Twills In A Textile

Life has its ups and downs, doesn’t it? There are periods of good times when you are in great shape and everything you do is going well, and periods of bad times when nothing you do is going well, and they alternate like waves.

No one is in good shape all the time, and no one is in bad shape all the time. Perhaps life is like the twills of a woven fabric, with its various patterns.

In the midst of such ebbs and flows, how we spend the time when we are in a slump or depressed state will undoubtedly have a great impact on the rest of our lives.

The Message Is, “Look inside.”

After all, what is the purpose of a period of inactivity? It is for us to look inside ourselves. In other words, a time of bad condition is a message that says, “Look inside.”

What we tend to do when things are not going smoothly around us and we are not feeling well is to move around, work around, and try to change things in order to escape the pain as quickly as possible.

However, strangely enough, the more we struggle in such situations, the less successful we are. In some cases, the more we move, the worse it gets.

At such times, we tend to desperately try to do something about our outer world, but when we are in a bad situation, the message is, “Go within and look at your own heart.”

Opportunities For Deep Learning In Times Of Dis-ease

When everything is going well and you are living a happy and fulfilling life, you usually don’t look inside yourself. Things are unfolding exactly as they are supposed to, and we are so preoccupied with external things that we rarely have a chance to look at ourselves. So, there is almost no chance to look at oneself.

Then there comes a time when it all comes to a halt. For example, it may be easier to understand this if you consider the case of a person who becomes ill and is hospitalized. Suppose a person who had been busy working every day until then suddenly collapses and is rushed to the hospital to be admitted.

Until then, the person had been sailing along without any worries, but when he was hospitalized for a while, the wheels that had been turning suddenly stopped turning. Then came the reckoning that he had worked so hard without regard for his family, and they abandoned him and said their goodbyes.

It seems like something you would see in a TV drama, but it happens all the time, no matter how big or small, when people suddenly find themselves alone in a hospital bed and are forced to reflect on the way they thought, lived, and worked up until that point.

Such a situation would be very painful for the person involved, but I think it is also a fact that without such pain, one cannot truly realize and deeply learn from the heart.

Live For Someone Else Who Isn’t You

Looking back on myself, there was a period of my life when I was in very poor health and suffering.

There was a time when I was suffering from a lack of meaning and purpose in my life, wondering what I was born for and what I was living for.

I was volunteering at an orphanage at that time. I had been singing songs, doing picture-story shows, and dancing with the children. Most of the children there were unable to live with their parents for one reason or another, so they were all lonely, sad, anxious, and frustrated.

I went there hoping to make those children smile and have a cheerful heart, even if only a little. When I treated the children with that thought in mind, their faces would change to brighten. When I was leaving, the children would say, “I want you to come back again,” and they would cling to my legs and not want to leave.

What I realized through these experiences was that up until then I had been living for myself. I had been trying to make myself happy, making efforts for myself, and living only for my own happiness, but that did not make me happy at all.

What the children have taught me is that when I live for the happiness of someone else, I myself become happy. In playing with and interacting with children, when I lived for the happiness of someone else, not myself, my heart became very full, filled with happiness, and a great sense of fulfillment came over me.

I was able to realize and learn such things because I had my own difficult and troubled days. If I had lived a smooth sailing life at that time, I doubt I would have realized anything.

Everything In Life Is Positive

What I learned from the children at the orphanage was a very significant experience for me in my later life. I now believe that I am the person I am today because of what I learned at that time.

I believe that there are times in our lives when we are in a difficult situation, depressed, or in a bad mood. However, these times are opportunities for great learning and awareness, and opportunities are coming our way. If we can see it that way, we can say that everything that happens in life is positive and there is nothing to be afraid of.