Originally posted on ThyBlackman.com (Click link for original article)
Suffering then is not something that happens to us in such a way that we have no control over it. Suffering is not something that we must endure in order to be worthwhile. In fact, it is our own controllable reaction to experiences which determines how those experiences will affect us. Man’s responses to his experiences are based on his view of those experiences. If a painful experience is viewed as a step in his inevitable suffering plight, he passively submits to the pain and expenses it in all the intensity of its agony. If the same painful experience is viewed as an obstacle for man’s mastery, man actively confronts the pain and seeks to overcome it. If he accepts the pain as the natural signal of a need for some type of change of either a physical or metaphysical form, then the person knows that something must and can be done.” Dr Naim Akbar The Community of Self page 59.
No one escapes the vicissitudes of life, the pain and suffering, the peaks and valleys of life the things William Shakespeare called “the slings and arrows of outrageous fortune.” No one is immune or exempt from experiences that knock the wind out of us, that throw us for a loop or knock us down. There is no avoidance or escape from what some call failure because failure is part of the success process. Life is such that each one of us must experience setbacks, obstacles, defeats and disappointment to go along with and counter balance the successes, triumphs, exhilarations and joys of living.
I tell folks the only people with no problems we know of, are in the cemetery. Problems, challenges, setbacks and disappointment are all part of the life experience. We cannot evade them. So if you are going through something be glad, be thankful; it means you are still alive. Life is such that challenges are an integral aspect of our existence.
So if this is true and it is, then we should not be overly concerned about problems. We have to see beyond the obstacles, challenges and pain and focus on our goals, focus on our dreams and aspirations and how we can bring them into being, how we can manifest them on this plane. I am not suggesting we ignore problems. We must acknowledge them but don’t become overwhelmed or use our imagination to awfulize the challenge, problem or situation by blowing it our of proportion and making it seem worse than it really is.
They say within every problem lies the seed of its resolution. So we need to look at the problem not as an end or a roadblock but as a bridge to where we want to go be or do. Many of our problems we bring on ourselves or we contribute to. Challenges are a way for us to look at ourselves, take inventory of our strengths, talents and goals and decide whether we want to give up and give out or do we find a way or make a way out of no way.
We come from creative people, genii who mapped and charted the stars, were the first to navigate rivers and oceans, the first to drain swamps, irrigate land, built pyramids that modern man still doesn’t know how they did it. Our ancestors solved problems of survival and asked the profoundest questions about human existence and came to some deep conclusions. Western philosophy is based loosely on what our ancestors discovered.
Our African ancestors were the first philosophers, the first metaphysicians, their knowledge and discoveries laid the foundation for all science, philosophy and ethics. This creativity, this intuition, this awesomeness is in our DNA. We just have to remember, meaning to rejoin ourselves with this ancient wisdom and potential. The same DIVINITY and INFINITE INTELLIGENCE that was available to our ancestors is accessible to us right here right now! We just have to tap into it. We have to know and realize we can tap into it at any time at any place and it will come to us and offer ways to overcome, endure and transcend any situation.
Our ancestors who were brought to these shores were faced with horrific challenges, degradation and unfathomable abuse. But they found ways to overcome and stand tall. When you are having difficulties get centered and calm your breathing, then allow the peace within you to take over. Peace and sobriety are our real essence. Remember you have the power to define your situation, you can use your imagination to see a different you, a different response to whatever you are going through. Do not try to tell INFINITE INTELLIGENCE how to resolve your situation, listen to the still small voice within you and trust it has your best interests even if what you hear seems impractical. Learn to think beyond your own mental limitations, to expand what you think is possible. The UNIVERSE is on our side, we are part of it and it is part of us so it wants the best for us at all times.
As I said problems are opportunities for us to see what we are made of, how resourceful, resilient and awesome we really are. Many of these issues we’ve brought on ourselves due to foolishness, our egos run amuck or the inevitable consequences of faulty thinking and actions. We have to learn to take ownership for our flawed thinking, recognize this is our responsibility and work to alter those thoughts and decisions that took us down the slippery slope.
You are not being punished by your idea of god or your theology. Some of this is the result of our own erroneous thoughts and actions. Some things are beyond our control, the only response is to control yourself by reframing how you perceive and react to what is going on. While we may not have any control over the situation we can control how we respond, how we react, how and what we think about it. We have power and agency in all situations whether we can change the situation or not.
I once saw a bumper sticker that read, “Help Stamp Out Global Whining“. I chuckled when I saw it but actually there is a message in it. We have the ability to choose whether we whine about our lives, our circumstances and situations or we man and woman up and respond in a mature fashion. We can choose to give up, wallow in self-pity and helplessness or we can choose to solve or resolve the challenges in our lives.
If the situation is chronic we can make or find a way to make it bearable without resorting to negative thoughts, maladaptive behaviors or harmful addictions. We can transcend our challenges in a healthy manner, be in it but not of it; not allow it to get the best of us. Someone once said, “Circumstances don’t make a person, they reveal him or her.” Your are not defined by your troubles. You are greater than anything that is bothering you. Stop whining and choose to be resilient. Look at the situation, determine to figure out how to resolve the issues, be persistent and patient until you achieve your breakthrough.
Written by Junious Ricardo Stanton