The Hard Ship of Life

You do not always see it coming.

At times life can be hard.

Really hard.

Sometimes it appears so difficult it calls into question all of your efforts. Other times it seems to test unfairly. And, I am sure, there are times when it feels entirely too easy. It is, however, consistently challenging. Whether you are the kind of person who embraces a challenge or not, there will always be one, and should you endure your soul will be grateful. Though that may be lifetimes from now.

No matter how hard life can get it always has something to offer.

As important as it is to experience, you must do yourself the favour and take time to reflect. Think about what just happened. How did it make you feel? Too many times we simply go on without ever really processing our experiences. The experience itself is often not enough. Sometimes it is nothing greater than the scratch on the surface of something so much more.

Reflection can be a slow and involved process. To come to a complete understanding of your experience and process it can take but a moment. And there are things that require a lifetime of reflection.

Unfortunately, we live in the age of instant gratification and we appear to losing our skill set; the fine art of reflection has been swapped for something more tangible. A repertoire absent of this is one unarmed and unable to truly gain anything at all. You will lack the faculty to even realize there is anything to be gained in the first place. You will miss the opportunity to complete the experience if you deny yourself the chance to think about it. Do not assume that because it happened you absorbed it.

Many of life’s offerings are born out of thought. Yet a lot of us take NO time to think these days. At least, not to ourselves.

So desperate are we for attention that our willingness to share has become obscene. We have such a need to be seen, be heard, that we have virtually no shame. Too many people are too eager; they will do anything in the name of getting themselves out there and we are so quick to share our opinions that we forget to take the time to actually think about them first. And, by neglecting to do so we have all but ceased sharing our thoughts.

Our ability to reflect and think about things has grown so rusty we are too embarrassed to do it…even in private. And because of that many of us are not getting the whole experience. Without reflection and thought the experience will always be lacking, whether you think so or not. The realization will come, often too late for you to do anything about it, while your experiences can often be beyond your own control, you have the control within yourself and the ability to stop and think about them.

The tough moments life throws at us are so with purpose.

Easy teaches us nothing.

The hard times make you ask questions. Those are the times you ought to pay attention to, those and anything else in life that makes you ask questions. These are the things from which you will learn and those questions are the ones that will really make you grow.

The easy moments do offer us something. And they can make us ask questions, though often not the ones you should be asking. Most times these moments are purely superficial.

Most of us feel enormous relief when we encounter a moment that passes with ease and dread anything that appears difficult. Too often we run and hide when we should stay and, at least, find out what happens. You never know what you may find. Stick around long enough and you will discover the difficulty recedes. Those hard moments become less so the longer you linger. The stuff of life is constructed to provide you with constant challenge. And, trust me, it never fails in that particular area.

If you allow yourself to go through it ALL, start to finish, and if you allow yourself the time to think about it, you may come to appreciate those difficult times. So much more revealing than the easy times, the hard times not only provide you with experience and knowledge, but the opportunities to apply all that you have learned prior. And, they do not only make you want to ask questions, they force you to do so.

The questions you will find yourself asking are often as hard as, if not harder, than that which provokes them. They will not limit themselves to the obvious and will most certainly extend themselves to and beyond the extreme.

An inquisition like this is all-encompassing and not limited to the moment itself. There are situations that will arise during your existence that will cause you to question EVERYTHING that you have done. And plant seeds of doubt. You will second-guess every choice and decision you have made. Each and every word you have uttered. Every question you have asked. Every place you have ventured. These seeds may grow and cause you to doubt yourself, your efforts and the people around you. These questions are not meant to be cruel, though they can be, they are instead meant to encourage growth and force you to entertain a variety of perspectives.

Make sure you are not too quick to settle in and enjoy the view, try at least one other.

And what of those unanswered questions? They may be so for more than this lifetime or the next, but know that they are answered in part because of your efforts, always making it worth a try. However, be warned: the presences of questions usually means it is a test or one is coming soon.

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