Seems like, if only we could hit a lucky streak, we would live life to the max! Can it be difficult to live when all’s well, when it works like a charm; when our luck holds?
Alas, it’s not as cut and dry as it sounds. In fact, you can’t make your positive time period (a lucky streak) meaningful, if you don’t behave properly during the negative one (a losing streak). When in the midst of a losing streak, it’s impossible to get anything done. Things are going from bad to worse. People turn their backs on us… You feel like you’re crossing the mountains carrying a large burden on your shoulders. But on the plus side, you can embark on studying the science of meaningful life!
Sages say you can tell if someone hits a rough patch by his or her appearance. One walks about head down, as if overburdened with a heavy load. And indeed, at such times there is no one to help us carry our karma. In good times, we carry it together with others. Our relatives and friends, near and dear ones are always there to help us out. Their positive feelings toward us lend us wings to fly over the difficulties. They are praying for us and doing a lot of good; therefore it feels much easier than during the hard times.
You can also judge someone’s state of karma by their speech. How they say “yes” or “no” is a guide to that. If they answer firmly, apparently they are on a lucky streak. At the same time, confident behavior may as well be intrinsic to those with a lively, determined character. And if they hesitate to answer, it suggests he/she either hit a rough patch, or is a cautious, timorous personality.
The point is to understand why we walk through changes at all. Sages explain that life of a human being, like of any other material object, runs in cycles. Life is a series of changes that come in repeating patterns with a certain periodicity. So in order to accomplish a life goal, we also have to accept a sequence of changes we’ll have to go through diligently and gracefully.
In a nutshell, to meet your goals you must be open to changes. Changes are based on interactions of positive and negative life patterns. All this invigorates our consciousness and purifies our desires.
The majority of people are not ready for changes. This points to the fact that one is not mature enough to dedicate their life to a sublime goal. The more sublime the goal is, the more changes, or tough periods, you have to move through.
Many people begin studying astrology as they strive to know how to overcome tough times. They undergo various rituals, chant mantras for the planets or engage in even more esoteric pursuits which resemble more of a black art, indeed.
What we don’t understand is that life crisis is not a disaster. And it’s not the end of the world. It’s not meant for useless suffering. Rather, this is the time that requires sensible decisions to be made. The word “crisis” is exactly translated as “decision”. Every time you face a life crisis, it marks a transition between two positive periods. And it requires you to pass an exam. If you do well, you’ll be allowed to pass to the next level. This means that upcoming positive period will be rich in new interesting events.
But if we fail our exams, if we simply feel anxious and bad about everything, our next lucky streak will repeat everything that happened over the last period of good luck. Practice makes perfect. The conclusion is that to keep our life interesting we must learn how to ace exams during exam times, or life’s rough patches. Next higher level will come then. New, interesting events will ensue.
Rough patches highlight changes in our life. Although they come with new challenges, is there anything bad in taking your education to the next level? Hence, the attempt to avoid rough patches is the direct attempt to avoid positive changes. This is not only impossible – this is simply not sensible. Struggle to avoid rough patches suggests our desire to get left back in the school of life. Change in life is inescapable for every material object. But a human being is different from all others in that he/she can understand the meaning of these changes. If we don’t have that understanding, our human life hasn’t yet started. This is why people suffer from despair so often and think life is suffering and preparing for death.
Losing streak checks our readiness to make bold, sensible decisions. The problem lies not in the losing streak itself but in the unwillingness to be determined and assume responsibility. It is for this reason that problems occur. In all other respects, a losing streak is no more dangerous than a lucky one. Anyway, we must abandon the desire to sit and wait out, hoping that difficulties will resolve themselves. It’s as good as to stay motionless in the middle of the road and shut your eyes to the oncoming car. If we don’t take effective actions, we doom ourselves to disaster that will not be long in coming.
The struggle to do so is virtually endless. It will continue throughout the whole material life. But without this struggle with oneself spiritual growth is impossible. In fact, there’s nothing negative about rough patches. It’s more accurate to say that rough patches are maturity test periods that check our readiness for new discoveries.
This knowledge is of prime importance as it protects those who are aware of it against hasty decisions and despair. At the same time, full information on negative time periods is classified as insider astrological knowledge. That’s too deep for ordinary people who are likely to find themselves shaking with fear in anticipation of these events. Fear is not the best companion, as we walk the path of life. Therefore, it’s quite sufficient to know how to manage through such hard times.
Astrologer must give a complete insight into the system of development. It is based on harmonious combination between teaching and examination periods. Proper behavior during these specified periods will make us intelligent and thus happy. It is only complete insight into the system of spiritual advancement that enables people to get rid of fears. One starts to see the glorious victory behind all the troubles.
And now let’s turn to sages for practical advice. They give us some tips on how to conduct ourselves properly.
If your strength oozes away, if you lack buoyancy during these trying times, it is suggested that you start spiritual life and become a sadhu – the one who is interested in spiritual science only. Depression strengthens and becomes chronic; people suffer torments only because they don’t know this secret. They fail test that precisely checks their skill to focus on spiritual things. Thus, remember: if your strength gave out, it’s time to become a saint. You will love this!
If you lose wealth, prosperity, money or possessions, it’s time to live like a monk, become a brahmachari, and finally, start to control your sexual drive. Remember: if there’s no money, family or members of the opposite sex by your side, there’s no room for comfort and entertainment. If money is taken away by the twist of fate, it’s time to pass the test of austerity and loneliness. Loneliness itself can’t solve problems but it can help to embark on a journey of spiritual knowledge. So keep in mind: if money is tight, time is ripe to become a student.
If crisis comes to a woman in the form of aging problems, she must become devoted to her husband and try to make him happy. In any case, later-life crisis must bring family together. Our social circle tends to become smaller in old age. Only close family members can be there to understand our condition during this time. In other words, older people are not needed by anyone, except their relatives. So it would be awfully unwise to ruin relationships by grudging behavior or nagging. Remember: old age is a sign that you must grow to love your relatives, get to like something you had no special liking for in prior years.
If crisis comes in the form of disease, we must fully surrender to the Lord. This tests our spiritual devotion. Neither physicians nor relatives can really help an ill person. They are nothing more than instruments in the hands of fate. Powerless to help us, they can only observe how things take their course. Hence, remember: when you’re ill, it’s time to build relationship with God since everything is in His hands only.
An additional point is that in the negative period we expect sympathy from others. But our anguish doesn’t always stir up sympathy. There’s a whole category of people who are not affected by our suffering at all. It is stated in the Vedas that a manager, a doer of the law, unfaithful person, thief, youngster and a beggar can’t understand the sufferings of others. If someone in your immediate circle falls under one of those categories, don’t even expect they’ll understand your hardships. Because people don’t know these exceptions, they often get offended, as they expect sympathy from those who are not destined for that.
Expensive artwork made by a modern artist was once featured in an exhibition. It was made of plastic bags and was acknowledged as one of the top mould-breaking artworks of the year. But there was one problem: night after night new janitors would come. Each of them thought it was a heap of rubbish and threw it in the garbage. Finally, exhibition contractors were fed up with that. They had to put up a notice that said: “This is not a rubbish pile. Please don’t throw it away.” The work was sold for $50,000$.
Another case is even more astonishing. Not so long ago a woman won a court case. She brought an accusation against a man suffering from epilepsy. The woman claimed she suffered stress when she saw his face during the seizure. And the court held that the man was obliged to pay $5,000$ reimbursement for moral damages. So goes the word. Don’t put your hopes for sympathy up too high.
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