I was once told by a close friend that “When you’re going through hell, keep going!”
Today these words continue to encourage and motivate me when I struggle through times of difficulty; even while I’m living here in paradise.
Once a king called upon all of his wise men and asked them, “Is there a mantra which works in every situation, in every circumstance, in every place and in every time – in every joy, every sorrow, every defeat, and every victory – one answer for all questions? Something which can help me when none of you is able to advise me? Tell me, is there any mantra?”
All the wise men were puzzled by the King’s question. After a lengthy discussion, an old man suggested something which appealed to all of them. They went to the King and gave him a ring with words engraved into it, with a condition that the King was not to read it out of curiosity. Only if, in extreme danger, when the King finds himself alone and there seems to be no way out, only then he can read it. The King wore the ring without reading the engraving.
Sometime later, the neighbours attacked the kingdom. The King and his army fought bravely but lost the battle. The King fled on his horse and the enemies followed him. The King found himself standing at the mouth of a deep ditch. If he jumped into it, there would be no way out. The sound of the enemy horses were approaching fast and the King became restless. There was nowhere else to go.
The King remembered his ring and about the engraving. He decided to read the message.
“This, too, shall pass.”
The King read it again and again until something struck him. Yes! This, too, will pass. Only a few days ago, I was enjoying my kingdom; I was the mightiest of all the Kings. Yet today, the Kingdom and all its pleasures are gone. I am trying to flee from my enemies. But just as those days of luxuries have gone, this time of danger will pass, too.
Calm came over the King. He remained still and silent. The King looked around at the place where he was standing and realized how beautiful it was. He had never known that such a beautiful place existed in his Kingdom.
The revelation of the ring’s message had a great effect on him. He relaxed and forgot about his pursuing enemies. After a while, he realized that the noise of galloping horses had receded and that his enemies had lost him.
The King gathered himself and reorganized his shambled forces and fought again. He defeated the enemy and reclaimed his empire. When he returned to the city after the victory, he was received with much fanfare. The whole capital was rejoicing and everyone was in a festive mood. Flowers rained down upon the King from every house, from every terrace as he trotted by. People were dancing and singing. In this moment the King thought to himself, “I am one of the bravest and greatest Kings. It is not easy to defeat me.” In all of the celebration an ego emerged in the King.
Then a ray of sunlight caught the King’s ring and sharply flashed into his eye reminding him of its message, “This, too, shall pass.”
He lowered his gaze and his valiant expression changed to one of humility. He realized, again, that if this, too, is going to pass, it is not yours. The defeat was not yours. The victory was not yours. You are just a player. Everything passes by. We are witnesses of all of this. We are the beholders.
Character building, guts, a rite of passage and increase self-confidence maybe the dividend of overcoming our difficulties however, What if the choices we make are in fact compounding our trouble? What if we subconsciously attract troubles into our life so we have something to motivate, distract, or justify to ourselves? Worse still, what if we don’t even realise our choices are compounding our troubles?
It sounds cliché but in my experience I needed to hit rock bottom.
Worse still, when I thought I had reached rock bottom, something else would happen and it take me even lower. I even made conscious decisions to hurt myself further in my self-loathing state.
My cynical joke, “it’s always darkest before it all goes pitch black”. Obviously I was not having a healthy relationship with myself and this unhealthy relationship only compounded my troubles.
What was my circuit breaker?
I gave up, all of it, all of me. I accepted that I couldn’t help myself. I was broken and for me I needed to experience acceptance without judgement.
After long searching, fighting, hurting, questioning and sincere prayers I accepted a peace offering. I accepted Christ in my life and in doing so accepted peace with God. Why? Because while I might not like myself and others felt obliged and even happy to point out my flaws; along with everything “This too shall pass”.
Peace has given me the courage to reconsider my priorities and embrace new experiences. It has provided both clarity and minimised distractions, enriching far more of my life than I had first expected.
Here’s some Tips I apply in my own life:
Thank you, from me to you. Thank you for allowing me to share my truth and being part of this journey. My hope is that these words inspire you, comfort you and you find peace.
About Peter Horsfield
Peter Horsfield in an Authorised Representative and Investsure Holdings Pty Ltd ABN 16 050 286 630 as trustee for Horsfield Family Trust ABN 55 609 068 513 is a Corporate Authorised Representative of Infocus Securities Australia Pty Ltd ABN 47 097 797 049 AFSL and Australian Credit Licence No. 236523.